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Universal Design in Higher Education. Begin Presentation. Begin Presentation. Go to Accessibility Instructions. ACCESS-ed = A ccessible C ampus C limate E nvironment S upport S ystem for E ducation. Overview of Presentation. Our current campus system of individual ACCOMMODATIONS.

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Universal Design in Higher Education

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universal design in higher education

Universal Design in Higher Education

Begin Presentation

Begin Presentation

Go to Accessibility Instructions

overview of presentation
Overview of Presentation
  • Our current campus system of individual ACCOMMODATIONS.
  • UNIVERSAL DESIGN in EDUCATION (UDE) – What is it and why?
  • How you are already using the concepts of universal design in education and how to build.
  • Role of the Departmental Accessibility Resource Coordinator (DARC)
the a3 model
The A3 Model
  • Advocacy
  • Accommodation
  • Accessibility

Conceptual model for how organizations address the needs of people with disabilities

advocacy in the a3 model
Advocacy in the A3 Model
  • This person is waving, yelling, and knocking to draw attention to herself, to let others know that she needs assistance to get into the building.

Knocking of the door in the background

accommodation in the a3 model
Accommodation in the A3 Model
  • We anticipate a need. Here, a person waits by the door to assist people who need help.
accessibility in the a3 model
Accessibility in the A3 Model
  • This automatic doorway opens when rolled or walked upon, making the doorway accessible to everyone.
in what stage
In What Stage?

Drumroll when the bar moves to the right

introduction to universal design
Introduction to Universal Design

“Universal design is the process of creating products

(devices, environments, systems, and processes)…..

which are usable by people with the widest possible range of abilities…..

operating within the widest possible range of situations (environments, conditions, and circumstances).”

(Vanderheiden, 1996)

expanding upon the idea
Expanding Upon the Idea
  • The concept of UD in education applies to:
    • Facilities
    • Academic applications
        • Classroom instruction
        • Distance learning courses
        • Laboratory and fieldwork
    • Websites
“It is a dreadful irony that students with disabilities have better access to school buildings than they do to the curricula within them.”

(Dolan & Hall, 2001)

“Universal design principles can be applied to the overall design of instruction as well as to specific instructional materials, facilities, and strategies such as lectures, classroom discussions, group work, Web-based instruction, labs, field work, and demonstrations.

(From Universal Design of Instruction: Definition, Principles, and Examplesby Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.)

Employing universal design principles in education does not eliminate the need for individual accommodations for students with disabilities.


For example,

You may need to provide a sign language interpreter for a student who is deaf. (Accommodation)

However . . . . . .

Not all students with hearing impairments use sign language.

Live captioning also provides access to deaf students

And also may be


English as a Second Language

Hidden Disabilities

hidden disabilities
  • What are the issues?
    • Statistics in colleges everywhere are commonly reflecting that the majority of students with disabilities are students with learning disabilities
    • Disclosure issues
    • Never been diagnosed formally
hidden disabilities22
  • What are they?
    • Learning disabilities, such as dyslexia
    • ADHD
    • Mental health impairments, such as depression or anxiety disorders
    • Chronic illnesses, such as cancer, HIV, diabetes
learning styles
Learning Styles

All of us have some obstacle to our learning and natural preferences with our own learning style.

basic styles of learning
Basic Styles of Learning
  • Auditory
  • Visual
  • Kinesthetic-tactile

Chimes in the background when the word auditory comes up and a typewriter sound in the background when the word kinesthetic-tactile comes up

ud and learning styles theory
UD and Learning Styles Theory

All students have unique learning styles

  • ESL students,
  • international students,
  • non-traditional students,
  • students with older computer technologies,
  • students with disabilities,
  • students with a learning style that differs from the instructor,
  • all students
applying universal design concepts in course planning
Applying Universal Design Concepts In Course Planning
  • Assures full access to the content for most students
    • minimizes the need for special accommodations

For example, designing Web resources in accessible formats as they are developed means that no redevelopment is necessary if blind students enroll in the class or if students are primarily auditory learners.

Planning ahead saves time in the Detailed run.

What are you already doing

that might be an exemplar

model for universal design?

1. Open Class ClimateAdopt practices that reflect high values with respect to both diversity and inclusiveness

For example:

Put a statement on your syllabus inviting students to meet with you to discuss disability-related accommodations and other special learning needs.

Based on


2. Optimize Physical Access, Usability, and SafetyAssure that activities, materials, and equipment are physically accessible to and usable by all students and that all potential student characteristics are addressed in safety considerations

For example:

  • Develop safety procedures for all students, including those who are blind, deaf, or wheelchair users
  • Label safety equipment simply, in large print, and in a location viewable from a variety of angles
  • Repeat printed directions orally
3 diversify delivery methods use multiple accessible instructional methods
3. Diversify Delivery MethodsUse multiple accessible instructional methods

For example:

Deliver content in a variety of ways - consider

  • lectures,
  • collaborative learning options,
  • hands-on activities,
  • Internet-based communications,
  • educational software,
  • field work, etc.

4. Use a Variety of Information ResourcesAssure that course materials, notes, and other information resources are flexible and accessible to all students

For example:

Choose printed materials and prepare a syllabus early.

This allows students the option of beginning to read materials and work on assignments before the class begins - or -

adequate time to arrange for alternate formats, such as books on tape.


5. Encourage InteractionEncourage effective interactions between students and between students and the instructor. Assure that communication methods are accessible to all participants.

For example: Assign group work where learners must support each other and where the group process places a high value on different skills and roles.

increase the frequency and quality of feedback provide specific feedback on a regular basis
Increase the Frequency and Quality of FeedbackProvide specific feedback on a regular basis

For example:

Allow students to turn in parts of large projects for feedback before the final project is due.


Diversify Assessment ToolsRegularly assess student progress using multiple, accessible methods and tools and adjust instruction accordingly

For example:

Assess group/cooperative performance as well as individual achievement.

Incorporate Accommodations as NeededPlan for accommodations for students for whom the instructional design does not meet their needs

For example:

Know how and where to get materials in alternate formats, and arrange for other accommodations for students with disabilities, as requested.

what s wrong with this picture
In this example, cages protect computers in a public location

However, information displayed was difficult to read

What’s wrong with this picture?
roles and responsibilities of the darc departmental accessibility resource coordinators
Roles and Responsibilities of the DARC (Departmental Accessibility Resource Coordinators)
  • Find nearby exemplars and recognize “achievers”.
  • Be a departmental resource - provide basic information to staff regarding universal design concepts and resources for inclusive education/instruction. Web, printed materials, etc.
  • Participate in periodic in-services.
  • Take an active role in departmental meetings, activities, and services to disseminate newly acquired information
  • Advocate for accessibility to and within your department for individuals with disabilities.
  • Be a role model, willing to encourage others to think about accessibility, universal design, and an inclusive campus climate.
roles and responsibilities of the darc departmental accessibility resource coordinators38
Roles and Responsibilities of the DARC (Departmental Accessibility Resource Coordinators)

Please Provide us with on-going Feedback

top 12 tips for universal design in the classroom
Top 12 Tips for Universal Design in the Classroom
  • Provide crisp, high contrast printed handouts.
  • Encourage optimum classroom physical environment (lighting, noise, pathways, etc.).
  • Face the classwhen speaking.
  • Invite students to discuss any access issueswith a statement on your syllabus and in the first class.
  • Verbally describe images on all slides and overheads.
  • Use amicrophone when speaking.
  • Repeat student questions and comments out loud.
  • Provide electronic handouts ahead of time.
  • Request electronic versions of textbooks when ordering.
  • Provide text descriptions for all graphical items in instructional materials.
  • Consult the ACCESS-ed Website.
  • Consult your DARC (Department Accessibility Resource Coordinator).

What can you do

to share

what you have learned today with

others in your department?

review of presentation
Review of Presentation
  • Our current campus system of individual ACCOMMODATIONS.
  • UDE – What is it and why?
  • How you are already using the concepts of UDE and how to build.
  • Role of the Departmental Accessibility Resource Coordinator (DARC)
thank you


Last Updated 3/20/2007


presenter options including universal access features
Presenter Options, Including Universal Access Features
  • The “speaker notes” function in PowerPoint is used as a universal access feature.
    • The speaker notes contain text descriptions of the graphics, because it was not feasible to do this with PowerPoint’s ALT text function to provide access for people with disabilities, including vision and cognitive impairments.
    • The notes can also be used to prepare a presenter for delivering the slides.
    • Where graphics repeat, the descriptions for graphics only describe what has changed from the previous slide.
    • Unfortunately, current versions of the free PowerPoint Viewer do not support “speaker notes.”
presenter options viewing speaker notes
Presenter Options – Viewing Speaker Notes
  • Using the “Slide Show” view
    • In Windows, right click on the slide in use or use the context key to bring up the menu, and then select “speaker notes”
    • On a Mac, using Ctrl + Click on the slide and select “speakers notes” from the menu.
  • The notes can also be seen as a part of the “Normal” view or directly by using the “Notes Page” view.
  • When in “Normal” view, F6 can be used to switch between the slide, notes, and outline panes respectively.

Go back to the opening presentation slide