Published on February 26, 2014
UNIVERSAL DESIGN By: Elizabeth Schosker
What is universal design? • Universal design is the idea that buildings, products, and environments should be accessible to elderly people, people without disabilities, and people with disabilities. • In other words, universal design makes things easier, safer, and more convenient for everyone –it does not matter how big, small, old, young they are.
How can universal design be presented in learning? • Let’s make this clear: there is no such thing as an average student. • Universal design is meant to reach out to all students –including those who struggle in school, those who excel in school, and those with disabilities.
Successful learners! • Universal design in learning focuses on making sure that each and every student has the opportunity to become a successful learner. • Learning experiences are designed be universal and flexible for each individual student.
Individuality and learning is important! • Designing lessons and experiences for the average student has never worked well. This is because there is no average student. • Questions the universal designers wonder about: “How does learning really work?” “How and in which ways does learning differentiate among individuals?”. • Researchers have created three principles to help find the answers to these questions.
3 Principles of Universal Design in Learning: 1. Provide multiple means of representation: Make sure every child can perceive it. Make sure every child understands way it is represented. Provide options for comprehension. 2. Provide multiple means of action and expression: Provide options physical action. Provide options for expression and fluency. Provide options for executive functions. 3. Provide multiple means of engagement: Provide options for recruiting interest. Provide options for sustaining effort and persistence. Provide options for self-regulation.