A report issued today by the National Center on Universal Design for Learning titled Understanding the Impact of the Race to the Top and ARRA Funding on the Promotion of Universal Design for Learning indicated that many states are pursuing implementation of UDL principles to support student learning.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an educational framework that focuses on three areas:
- Multiple means of representation (i.e. Present information and content in different ways)
- Multiple means of action and expression (Differentiate the ways that students can express what they know
- Multiple means of engagement (Stimulate interest and motivation for learning)
While the report reflects many examples of states that are moving forward, it also identifies many barriers to full implementation of UDL, such as: a need for additional professional development; need for greater resources and investment from the state and federal level; and the need to have UDL better infused into general and special education laws (i.e. the Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).
The 14 states surveyed in the report had all used the terms “universal design” or “universal design for learning” in their Race to the Top applications. Four of the 14 states surveyed received RTTT grants.
CEC is a member of the National UDL Taskforce, a group of 40 organizations that promote the use of UDL and its inclusion in various federal education policies.
Check out CEC's book on UDL and other resources here.