Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a research-based framework for designing instruction (educational goals, methods, materials, and assessments) that enable all individuals to gain knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for learning.  This is accomplished by simultaneously providing rich supports for learning and reducing barriers to the curriculum, while maintaing high achievement standards for all students.


"Diversity is the norm, not the exception."





Classrooms usually include learners with diverse abilities and backgrounds, including students with physical, sensory, and learning disabilities, differing cultural and linguistic backgrounds, varied preferences and motivations for learning, students who are unusually gifted, and many others.


Universal Design for Learning supports teachers' efforts to meet the challenge of diversity by providing flexible instructional materials, techniques, and strategies that help teachers differentiate instruction to meet these varied needs.  It does this by providing options for:

  • Presenting information and content in different ways (the "what" of learning)

  • Differentiating the ways that students can express what they know (the "how" of learning)

  • Stimulating interest and motivation for learning (the "why" of learning)

A universally designed curriculum is designed from the outset to meet the needs of the greatest number of users. UDL is a good teaching practice that makes course concepts educationally accessible and skills attainable regardless of learning styles, and physical or sensory abilities.