The first step to being inclusive is to recognize that people learn and access materials differently. Universal Design is the framework to help reduce barriers and maximize the learning of all.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an educational framework that incorporates flexibility into the curriculum from the outset in order to avoid time-consuming retrofitting after the fact.
1. Apply UD to Course Goals; goals (or learning expectations) are articulated in a way that acknowledges learner variability and differentiates goals from outcomes.
2. Provide multiple means of representation to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge.
3. Provide multiple means of engagement to tap into learners' interests, challenge them appropriately, and motivate them to learn.
4. Provide multiple means of expression to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know.
5. Check with the publisher and ensure textbooks and other materials are available in both print and electronic format, accessible to screen readers.
6. Ensure all PDFs, Power Points and other teaching tools are accessible.
7. Ensure all videos have captions.
8. Ensure all internet resources (e.g. websites, blogs, wikis, etc.) are accessible for students.
9. Use the accessibility features with the Learning Management System (LMS).
10. Provide educationally relevant descriptions, or Alt text, for images and graphical layouts.
Do-IT: A checklist for inclusive teaching from the University of Washington.
CAST: National Center for Universal Design of Learning offers teacher-friendly examples and resources that illustrate each of the UDL checkpoints.
UDL Universe: provides resources and examples to improve postsecondary education for all students, including guides to support various levels of UDL course redesign. (use the tabs across the top of site)