Universal Design for Learning: A few reminders

Universal Design for Learning (UDL), is taking a proactive approach to instruction. Before responding to the different individual needs of students, teachers begin the lesson design my taking into consideration the different types of learners they may encounter, focusing on making learning accessible to everyone.

While preparing materials for instruction, the following 3 facets are areas to consider while thinking about making content available for all learners.

Principle 1: Provide Multiple Means of Representation

1. Offer Ways of Customizing the Display of Information

  • Size of text, images, and visual content is suitable for all learners in all locations of the room.
  • Color is used to emphasize important information.
  • Video volume and speed of delivery is appropriate for all students.
  • Layout of material is clear and non-cluttered.
  • Use “touch equivalents” for key concepts.

2. Provide Options for Language, Mathematical Expressions, and Symbols

  • Pre-teach vocabulary in ways to promote the connection to learners’ experience and prior knowledge.
  • Highlight how complex terms or expressions are made of simpler words/symbols.
  • Embed links to vocabulary assistance.
  • Present key concepts in a form of symbolic representation (video, illustration, comic, etc.).

3. Provide Options for Comprehension

  • Use of best practices and high yielding learning strategies.
  • Teach explicit cross-curricular strategies.
  • Discuss previously learned content/skills that can be used to solve new problems.
  • Provide time to revisit ideas throughout the school year.


CAST (2011). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.0. Wakefield, MA: Author. Retrieved from: http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines/principle1#principle1_g1_c1


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