Universal Design for Instruction and Learning

► Faculty, please take our brief survey about your knowledge and use (or non-use) of UDL! 
(The survey also includes a chance to RSVP to the "How to Accommodate with Fewer Accommodations Using the Inclusive Pedagogy of UDL" faculty dialogue sessions on October 5th and/or 6th at 3:13 pm.)

Interested in taking part, but can't make it at those times? Please convey your interest and availability for an alternative session time


Universal Design, in a nutshell, means designing an environment that is universally ideal for everyone (as opposed to just certain individuals, such as those with disabilities).
Examples of universal design solutions that benefit everyone include:

  • elevators
  • sliding glass doors
  • curb cuts where sidewalks abut intersections
  • closed captioning on video screens (especially in places like restaurants or airports).

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) are frameworks that are devised to optimize teaching and learning for diverse groups of students based on scientific insights into how people learn best. Research has found that successful classes are those that employ the 3 tenets of Universal Design: 

  1. multiple modes of presenting information,
  2. multiple ways to actively engage students, and
  3. multiple means of assessing knowledge. 

UDL’s goal is to maximize access and inclusion for all diverse learners and to minimize the need for individual adaptations or accommodations. 

Here's some basic information about UDL in Higher Education, and here's an explanatory video series that addresses "What is Universal Design for Learning?"

The following resources were created by Marni Jones for Dickinson faculty:

And here are additional great UD resources:

Finally, there is an abundance of helpful guidance from colleges and universities across the US that are successfully incorporating UDL/UDI in their curricula. Here are two great examples:

This page is managed by Marni Jones, who is available to provide guidance on Universal Design. 
If you have any questions or suggestions, please email her at jonesmar@dickinson.edu