© CAST 2013
© CAST 2013

What is Universal Design for Learning (UDL)? 

UDL helps educators proactively design and deliver curriculum that promises to:

  1. reduce learning barriers,
  2. optimize engagement, and
  3. meet the needs of ALL learners from the start.

What UDL is not: one-size-fits-all customized, individualized, specialized instruction. 

UDL originated in the field of architecture with barrier-free design.  It is rooted in cognitive neuropsychology that reveals three primary networks that are activated when learning occurs (as illustrated in the graphic to the right).

The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) provides us with three UDL Principles, Guidelines and Checkpoints to assist in proactively planning lessons, in any subject area. (see the chart below)

How do the Teaching Research Writing lessons, activities, and resources engage UDL principles and guidelines?

Attention to the UDL Guidelines provided enhancements to the lessons. These enhancements include:

  • options for multiple formats of handouts
  • technology options
  • featured key vocabulary
  • clear statements of what students will learn and do
  • alternate ways of assessing student learning

Additionally, Visible Thinking Routines are included in each lesson to engage students in collaborative, higher-level thinking and reflection.

More Resources

UDL Guidelines