Universal Design for Learning and Practice Considerations When Engaging in ILP Activities

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.xvi  UDL is a framework for designing education environments that enable all learners – including students with disabilities – to more effectively participate in learning. This is accomplished by designing activities that offer variations in learning style preferences and approaches. 

Within the classroom and other learning environments, UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone, not by using a single, one-size-fits-all solution, but rather by offering options for flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted to meet individual learning needs.

The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) website section under Teaching Every Student (TES) is a good place to start to explore some of the UDL classroom applications. This TES section offers model lessons, interactive activities, tutorials, curriculum resources, and other tools. It also includes a full-text digital edition of the book, Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning, written by David H. Rose and Anne Meyer (ASCD, 2002).

Among the broad range of uses for UDL within the classroom and related learning settings is the application of its principles to career assessment and vocational evaluation of students. The Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals Association (VECAP) advocates for such application of UDL principles. In a recent position paper, VECAP focused on the value of UDL as a lens for designing assessments that are fair, equitable, and supportive of variation in learners' abilities.  The VECAP Position Paper on Universal Design for Learning for Career Assessment and Vocational Evaluation makes the case for providing all students, including those with disabilities, with UDL-designed assessment and evaluation processes as means to help each student better define and realize their dreams and achieve educational, vocational, and employment success.

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xvi Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals Association (VECAP). (2012). The VECAP Position Paper on universal design for learning for career assessment and vocational evaluation. Career Assessment Journal, 8 (1), 13-26.

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