2008 Teaching and Learning Symposium

2:30-4:30 p.m., May 6, 2008
HUB Ballroom

Session Description



Universal Design of Instruction: Making your class accessible to all students

Rebecca Cory, Michael Richardson, Lisa Stewart - DO-IT: Disabilities, Opportunities Internetworking and Technology

Students from more diverse ethnic, racial, religious, national and disability backgrounds are attending post-secondary education. Faculty and teaching assistants need to be prepared to be responsive to the diverse needs of students. Universal design helps instructors be proactive in planning these diverse needs. This poster will outline the principles of universal design. Designing a class to be accessible to all minimizes the need for special accommodations for those who use the services and for employees as well. Universal design helps to make sure everyone

  • feels welcome,
  • can get to the facility and maneuver within it,
  • is able to access printed materials and electronic resources, and
  • can participate in all learning activities.

This poster, suitable for a broad audience, will provide concrete steps for improving the accessibility of instruction. The work is based on 9 years of research on Universal Design conduced by DO-IT and a national team of 22 disability services providers and published in a 2008 book from Harvard Educational Press entitled Universal Design of Postsecondary Education: From Principles to Practice. These researchers have applied universal design principles in classes in four year and two year colleges, in the arts, sciences and humanities, and at the undergraduate level and graduate level. Our poster will present the principles of universal design, findings from our research and help faculty understand how to apply the principles of universal design in their classroom.

Findings of the research include the experiences of faculty in changing the climate of their classes, the enhanced learning for all students, students achieving higher grades, students knowing where they stand in classes more accurately, and a higher level of organization for the faculty.

This interactive poster will include a video display as well as an activity that faculty can complete to evaluate how to implement universal design in their classes.




Index of Symposium Presenters