PSYCHIATRIC REHABILITATION )OURNAL
By promoting responsive practices thatadjust to individual needs, UDL
mizes attention to disabilities and im-pairments, reduces the need forrequiring disclosure of disability, andshifts the institutional focus towardsspecific skill areas that are critical tolearning.Greater flexibility in curricu-lum and instruction also can increasesupportive exchange and interactionbetween student peers, as well as be-tween students and instructors. TheUDL learning community evolving fromthese interactions results in socializa-tion and a sense of membership withinthe academic culture, which helps stu-dents achieve a scholarly identity,rather than just to cope with their
tations—an outcome valued by stu-dents with disabilities (Daugherty,Campana, Kontos, Flores, & Shaw,1996).
Guiding Principles of tJDt
The Center on Postsecondary Educationand Disability (CPED) at the Universityof Connecticut (http//:www.cped.uconn.edu) has created a resourcebank for post-secondary education offaculty-designed instructional materi-als that meet UD principles Qorgenson& Weir, 2002). Beyond access (or
and thedevelopment ofa
community of learn-ers,
the principles of Universal Designfor Learning identified by the CPEDinclude:•
Simple and intuitive
instruction thatis designed in a straightforwardand predictable manner, regardlessofthe student's experience, knowl-edge, language, skills, or currentconcentration level;•
that is com-municated effectively to the user re-gardless of ambient conditions
light and noise level) or theuser's sensory abilities, which mayrequire multiple instructionalmodalities
readings, slides.summary handouts, and audio-recordings);•
within the cur-riculum that anticipates individualvariations in learning pace and pre-requisite skills, which may includemultiple pathways for practice andexpression, prompts for multi-steptasks, a rubric or checklist thatguides students in self-assess-ment, opportunities for revision,and/or students working in pairs tomonitor and assess their mastery ofthe content;•
when possible,that allows maximum attention tolearning while acknowledging that,in some instances, physical effort isintegral to essential requirementsofa course;•
for approach anduse
that takes into account the stu-dents' approach, reach, manipula-
and use of equipment andmaterials, regardless of body size,posture, mobility, and communica-tion needs;•
that creates awelcoming and inclusive environ-ment, while maintaining high ex-pectations for all students.Effective UDL practices also must incor-porate ongoing evaluation of students'learning. Assessments need to accu-rately measure the specific outcomesrelevant to course objectives and to in-dividualized student goals, while al-lowing for necessary supports andaccommodations. By using scoringrubrics or study guides, and providingthem to students, clear expectationsfor performance will help to facilitatestudent self-assessment and learning.Although UDL is not intended to avoidthe use of accommodations in theclassroom and in testing, providing al-ternate assessment formats for demon-strating knowledge will reduce theneed for accommodations by consider-ing the needs of diverse learners.Applying UDL can help address the his-torical difficulties experienced by stu-dents with psychiatric disabilities inpost-secondary settings (Unger, 1990;Megivern,Pellerito, & Mowbray, 2003;Mowbray, Bybee, & Collins, 2001).Supported education strategies andtechniques (Blacklock, Benson, &Johnson, 2003; Unger, 1990) will be en-hanced by applying a UDL lens to cur-riculum development and instruction.The UDL perspective embraces the ideaof instructor creativity in developingteaching strategies and assessmenttechniques that are effective for alllearners, while still maintaining the in-tegrity ofthe course and achieving itsobjectives. UDL creates a learning cul-ture in which diversity is accepted andembraced, and where all students areencouraged to learn and demonstratetheir knowledge in a variety of waysOorgenson &Weir, 2002).
Blacklock, B., Benson, B., &
barriers and opportunities for
Retrieved March 12, 2004, fromAssociation for Higher Education andDisabilities: www.ahead.org.Daugherty, S.
Campana, K. A., Kontos,
A.,Flores, M. K., Lockhart, R. S, & Shaw, D. D.(1996). Supported education: A qualitativestudy ofthe student experience.
Jorgenson, C. M., & Weir, C. (2002, Spring).Reflections on teaching. In
R. (1997). Principles of universal design.North Carolina State University. RetrievedFebruary, 2007 from The Center forUniversal Design,