\\(hat does, ~t mean for .sp~daJ education students to have access to the general curd.cu1um-e-spe'c:ially those who have [GlJlI'Ierly been limited to spe€ial' eau,c3- tion curriculums! How can students effeetrvely participate and make progress in the general curriculum? What new tools, methods, and approaches are Deeded-and are being implemensed!

In our view, the answers to these quesHsEI,s depend on changes that we must make :in- the general currie:ulum to prevlde SUGh access and partieiparion, In so QQiIl,g, we will create acurriculurn that ts better not :jmstfor students wjth disabilities but [or all students,

This a:rticie'& what wemean by access, parti:tip'atiort, and p'rOlfress in the general educ~ttion curriculnrnand 'suggests a new fCffillewntk fGJ currlcuhun reform ~hat balds. promise tar students with dis:abilities, in particular, and raises @Quntiess possibilities for all students, The article presents. the Universal Design for Learning (PElL) as

o Z.

IDEA '97, with its requirement' of ,gene",,1 curricular access ,and manclafed paJ1ic:ipo6on in state accountability systems, presents great challenges fa special education.


Providing New ess to Ihe General Cu,riculu Universal Design for Learning

Chuck Uitchcock • Anne Meyer • David Rose • Richard Jackson

a framework for Gu.r!,~Q.uJ:um reform that takes ad vantage of new media and new technologies fat learning [Hitchcock, Meyer, Rose &. Jackson, 2002; Rose &. Meyer, 2002; see box, "UDL CurrJcuJum in a Nutshell"),

What's Going an .Now: ~RetroIittingtlie "Cere" GelleI'CIl Cu.rriculum

As many educatons have stated, if a'persen from the 1800s, were to observe OUr culture now, the only thing that would 1001< the same would be the schof)ls (Pearlman, 1992). In contrast, WeIll! a teacher OI parent of a stutlen:t with a disa.bilt~y from 1970 able to view the current states of education for stunents with disabilities, he or she would be amazed at how far we have come, We now know a great deal about thesestudentsandthe approaches, tools, and 'contexts that help them learn, Policy; changes have brought unprecedented opportunities, (see box, "IDEA a:n,d thee General Curncufum"), and schools and dlstriers are continually d:evelQpjng innovative Ideas and approaches, Yet w~ still find flaws and shortcomings in the ov.emll approach to educating students with disabilities.

What 15 a Core Group?

States and districts are still designing the general curriculum to serve a core group of students, exclusive ofatudents with disabilities. Even wnen

publishers exglicitly include techniques for diverse learners. the writers seem to consider those diverse learners as outliers ana. exceptions. These exceptions include not only students with disabilities but also students wtrh eX'cepti:onal talents, those Whose native language is not English, and many others.

Is Ihere5uch a Thing ,as a Hom.ogeneous Classroom?

The assumption that there is a "core" group of learners that is mostly hO~1I10- geneous, outside of which other learners fall, is itself flawed. Common sense, and increasingly neuroscience,

C . I -. ·d'Il••··'I'h

urnc!J 11m matters an fooDg II e

one-size-fi.ts-all, inflexible currjeu/.um will occupy bOfh special and genertJi

educa.tors the .fufIJre.

tells lis thar learrrerscensideted to be within a greup are at le-ast as diverse along various dirnensjans affectiuglearning as are learners considered to be in different g:rOL1:I?S (Rose &. Meyer. 20Q2). in tad, we know [hal myriad subtle make each learner unique,

The post hec retrofitted solutions that spring from the assamption of homogeneity consume much time and (]laney. with only modest effectiveness. These drawbacksstem from the mistaken view that students with diverse learning needs are·"tQe prnblern" (.KibgSe.ars, 1997), when in factbarriers in the currieulum Itselfare, in our view,. the rcot of the [JIfficwty (Jaelcson, Harge:r& Jaeksoll,:lOOl).

Whol H'ave We LeC'-''IIed From .Mabutreaming and Inc'lusion.... d CurIJ Cuts!

The insights gained. from the mainstreaming and inclusive schools IDIDvement have been erueial steps along: the way to a. MW; more flexible currrculU1I1-the vniver-saU¥ cles.i.gD~d curriculum. The ideaof creating a flexible envireraaent that serves a broad range. of consumers originated with unrversal design in architecture .. Retro:f,jtting buildings:with .a.dded-Qnramps and automaeic doors to accemmedate people with disabilities is costly, marginally effec" tive, and often esthetically disastreas, Arebtteets have learned that desigriing buildings with the needs of diverse users In mind from the begilUling saves costs and leads to merastreamlmed, aCQE!ssible buildings, m whish altern atives are integral to the. design, And as it turns otn, untoeesal design works better for evervnne,

HIe . curb cutis the cJassicalJr cited example. Engineers originally designed the curb cut tb betterenable those in wheelchairs to negotiate curbs, bur they

also ease travel for people pushing strellers or riding skatehoards, pedestnans with. canes, 'and. evert the average walker. Go:m,merci<.lJ product designers also practice universal design. withsimilar results, Consider television captioning. When tbesecaptions rust appeared, Millo were deaf had to purchase expensive decoder boxes, retrofitting thetr televisions so that th.e.y could aCCeSS the captious, Later, decoder cbi,!1S were built into ev.ery television, making captions availableto all viewers. This universal desjgrr feature 110W benefits not o.oIy those who are deaf bUt alsoexsrcisera in health dubs, diners in noisy restaurants, people wa.rking OID their language skills, and couples who g0 to sleep at differelilt times. Furtl)errnore, ~s a built-in feature, access [Ii) te1e.visiOIl! .caJf)ti.0nmg costs a lew cents rather than 'several hundred dollars ( & Mey€r, 2002,~. n).

What IS a Universally Designed Cumcvlum?

10. the early 19905, t:heCenter for ~pplied Special Technology (CAST) began to apply the concept of uorversal design. to eurnculum materials and methods and cctined the term "Universal Design for Learning" or '·UDL." The UDL U:aIl:le:\.'llor.k IleApS us to see tha:t mflexible curricular materials and methods are barriers to diverse learners just as' infl~ble buildings with stairs asthe only entry option ate barriers to people with physicaI disabilities. 11 curriculum designers recognize thewtdely dlverselearners-in current classrooms and. build ih options to suppont learning differsncss from the beginning, the currieuluzn as inherently desiglil.ed can work for all learners. In addition, the need to modify, create alternative versions, aud employ assistive' technologies is g[eatl:y diminished (although techno Iogieswill always play a crucial rele for some stu-

Students with diverse learning needs are not lithe problem"; barriers in the curriculum itself

are the root of the difficulty.

dents. UILi¥ersaJlydesigned curriculums include a range of options fOI accessing, using, and engaging with learning materials-J:ecognizing that no single option will work {or all students CRose&. Meyer, 2002.1. UDL shifts the burden for reducing obstacles in the curriculum away from special edireators and tJIIi! students thern:selvesand leads to the development of a flexible curriculum that can S upport all learners rnore effectivel y.

Building a curriculum with in herent flexibility (see box, "Widely Diverse Currictflurn") helps teachers maintain educational integrity and maximize consistency Qf instructional goals and methods. while st.ill iJ.ldiviciualizil'lg learning:

To see hswsuch a universally designed curriculum might work, we highlight key features of UDLgoaJs, materials, methods, and assessments, as derived from CASY;s research and development (Hitch~ock, 20OJ; Rose & Meyer, 2002).


Recently, a number of <rut:bo.J;s :shifted, sp.ecia!!. e£i'wGato;rliallteJ;l.I.i.o;aLt:l the importance of cumit':'ulum alld standaeds-bassd reform fQT stqdeIljs, ~tj;J d.i.sablll!Jies (.N.01e! 1ilI.,gnJinJ 2Q.@b; puga:dh .& Wa:cger, 2001; Wehmeyer, Sands, KUl:JW]tIJU, &: lI:():lII!!sl~i. Z(,)D~J, The. landmaJ;'k lndrvidlUa1s. with. Disabilities Etfiut1i:triol1, Act Amendment'll of 1997 (JDU ·g7~ iltipul.ate lliat ~tudents ~\\itb cli5a\;liJities are @j]tiUed to access, p,art1.t:i,pation, .and pIogljess within the generail education ,e1Jlrri~u~ Iura (yell & :Sih1t~leI;, li997) , Tllis lan-' guage offe$s, gFeater Plo'tel1tial .ed11€>'lnonat opCpottu:riities' f@.fSWi'lentSw-itlt , _~.o:,·- -C74''''disabilities than fuey have evet bcl'ore errj~yed (BeUI!1a11il& Hehir, 1~9,;tL

'flje "general curriculum" is the 0't>erall plan fol' instr'\,lc~ion adopt~d 'tiW·a s,~h.~~ or school system: hs ifjtli'~OSe:: is t(') gui"t!le' instructional 8.GtiJritiesaJl.li1· i1I@v-jife C®'ii.- , sistency of ~ecla,tions, Copte!Jt ineU~- , ods, and Ou:tG(!)Il~eS, . GU:rr1C1:llauS'J4Jill¥ include an assnctbl'€flt 'of eBl'lTItmt 1tl:atl'l- , rials for student use; teacher's gtJfdes, assessments., WQ~kbp0k'S, an4 ~Gi1l~ media, In out :work em UI'l.tveii'5:al Design for Learning' fRose & Meyer" %t102Jl'l w. deftae fo'U( main C01'DJJ,lO)leJJ!(S of the genera] curacnhnn: CIJ gml1s and milestones liar insfruction!. often in til form of a scope and s,equenet;'; (2,) -~c!~i;!. anp materials to he usee! by $rud~)Jt&· ($) specific irrstn'lcti:ona:l InetJiads,often described tin a teacher's e(!)j'Jjoil:; an1ii ~~ means of a,s'S@$Smeo.t to measu"(estudent progress.

What Is the in.fiuence of the Standards MI1)vement?

The desigJ;\ and implement<tt:ioI) of fh..e general ad ucstron c1jrri(1)lum is ~€"fe:as~ D1g)y dniven!]!)~ exte.oaal oStatr~9S 'tm;ll are adopted from statewide Oli scheol reform i:niti'afi'Ves i(N\'llef & McLaughlin~, 20,P'O) , DevE:J'lopedbJ.y national, state, an,a Ioea! clJi[Fi:AUlum. wilting groups . .and by sHtijettarea experts, standards aj1Jj' f0< articulate clearly the lmowlec[ge, s1illl:s" ana pn:a.erstal1dingsall sjudepts s);lould gaj)~l ~n a particular subjeal, with mo!€'spe(![fk



In a UDL curriculum, goals provide all appropriate challenge [or all students. UDL goals begin, with standards and benchmarks that reflect th.e knowledge and skills all students will strive for and are carefully conceived and expressed to encourage multiple pathways :for achieving memo

Understanding and Stating Goals Broadly. To develop a UDL goal, teachers must first thoroughly understand what they want students to learn. This sounds imp le and obvious, bUI it is not a given. Many times the language of the goal incorporates a specific means for achievement when that means is, not, in fact, what the student needs to.leam . .In such cases the goals madvertently spec-

ify one acceptable path. You call make almost any goal inaccessible by unnecessarily limiting the means for reaching it. And conversely; srudents can achieve most goals if you provide flexibility in the means of achieving tbe goals. Human flight is a good example. The goal nf human flight is unreachable if the meansare limited (e.g., "Students will fly using their arms aswings"}; 'but quite attainable it more alternatives are included ("Students will fly").

Similarly, if you state a goal for composition narrowly «'Handwrite a 300- word essay about the challenges faced by Lewis and Clark"), then you may exclude students with motor disabilities and learning disabilities or place them at severe disadvantage. The same goal stated more broadly ("Generate a 300-

veys IUe message that there is a "more .corr.ect' or "mere appropriate" way to eta things and lesser or "allier" Gtll:Q,QTIS, which are needed f.or partieu~il'r .A eurcieulum that is 'd.esigl1ed to b,e accessible and supportive from the start will improve learnmg' opjJQrtu:nities and reduce the stigma pi ~pecial education. Further, it 'Sl:l.o1J.]'d reduce the need for special eduoation.

Can the New IDEA '97 Help?

~J]~ '97, with its requirement ofgenera1 curricular access and mandated part1d&l:a:tien ,in state accountability systems~ -presents great challenges to specia1 educf'ltion (Thurlow, 2;000). From tbe initial enactment of IDEA, special 'e!1TI£ati0Jl Was devetedto .. fi'xiI:Ig" me student througb remedial skills training ()[-when this was not deemed feasible-c@wpensa.ting for the child's disabjJ.j,ty by tea.crung functional or adaptlve sktlls, Ed:uq.tors paid very ltude atjention to curriculum for students w:irn d;isabliiries (Meyen, 19%). The special education perperuat@u the misguided assumption that me general curriculum in its inflexible form was il, given.' Today. curriculum matters (Pu~ada & Warger 200l} , and "fixing" tlfe 'tlne-si2e.Ji:ts-aJl. inflexible CUIDCUlU11l l.l\fill occupy both special and. educ;p.tol'S well into the furure,

word essay .... ") allows students with many disabilities to participate and make progress by using word processors, spell checkers, voice recognition software and other scaffolds and supports. This rewording reflects a dearer focus on the purpose of the essay, which is to gather, synthesize, and express certain uistorical information, not to de-monstrate penmanship. Finding the Means far 5tlldents to Reach Coals. Once you understand the true purpose for learning, you can use various means, media, scaffolds, and supports to help students reach the goal without undermining he challenge and the learning. For example. if the goal is for students to understand a mathematical or sclentific relationship, students Gould reasonably emplcya variety of


If curriculum designers recognize ,the widely Jiv:erse learners inl cu"enf ClasSroOMs and build in options to .s~pporl leaming diffeTenCe5 from the beginning, the curriculum as inheten~y designed con work for ,of/learners.

media and approaches ]0r gathering and keeping track of information and expressing knowledge. Grapblcs and video, or digital text. with reading supports, could provide some appropriate routes to aehieeing this goal. Eliminating Inappmpriate and Unnecessary Adaptations. Clear goals also reduce problems likely to arise from inappropriate accemmodations and adaptations, If the goal were clearly focused on learning to decode words, then many kinds of reading supports or accommodaticns that would be ap)?ropriate in ahistary lesson would eliminate the challenge and the opportunity for learning to decode, Clear .goals enable us to know when alternative methods and materials are not appropriate for reaching those goals.

Well-col1G~ived and carefully expressed goals are the fcundaricn of a curriculum in which all students can participate and make progress.


ln a. UOL curriculum, teachers provide materials in a flexible format, supportiug transformation between media and multiple representations of content to support all students' learning.

Multiple Media. The critical content at the center of a curriculum, the facts, concepts, lnformatton, principles, and relationships that 'are to be learned, must be rendered In some medium. What medium is best? No single medium (e.g., text, voice, linages) is accessible to all students. The UOL curriculum offers built-in "alternate" or "multiple" representations ..

Print Alternatives. With printed books, the content and its display are inextricably linked: the ink of the text or image is


embedded in the page, With digital media, the content can be separated from its display. Thus, the content can be provided once and displayed in a vari:ety of ways. For example, text can be displayed at any size on a screen orin print, as speech, in the context of a concept map, OJ as Braille [either printed or an. a refreshable Braill@ device), among others. An image can be presented in print or on-screen at any size and with colors modified to inereasevisibility, as a text or spoken description, or as a summary of the image's importance and implications for the context in which It is found. Further, this same content can potentially be displayed all various electronic devices such as hand-held computers or even telephones.

Benefits of Flexibility_ This adaptability increases accessibility for students with visual, auditory, reading, Of motor impalements because they can elect to view and respond to the content in a rnsdatm and means that suit their needs .. Students may choose the medium or media most effective for them, as long as the learning goal is not undermined,

Digital content makes possible another important kind of flexibility, the flexibilitY to embed supports and links. Not only can you display digital content in different ways, you can provide optional "smart supperts" that individual students can Use as needed. Thus digital documertts can include

• Hyperlinks to glossaries.

'. Related background information in multiple media.

.. Graphics and animations to summarize or highlight key relationships.

.. Queries to support strategic thinking,

• Sequenced supports for stepwise processes .

'. Tools for expression and organization, such as a notepad with capacity to store text, recorded voice, and images; or a Q&A tool [0 ask questions of teachers or peers online, DIgital materials for expression are

also far more flexible than are their print-based cousins, The power of word processing. is by now widely known and used, with its ease ofediting and multiple writing tools such as thesauri, spelling and gramrnar checkers, and dietionanes. Tools to track changes and

identify the authors of changes, insert annotations, and merge documents elegantly support collaborative cqmp.osition, Voice recognition software ena bles students who type. wit]:JJ difficulty Dr nat at all to compose in. text. Muitimedia tools such as Hyperstudie and Claris Works offer diverse learners alternatives to composing in straigtit text, tncluding creating an entire communication using images and sound or recorded voice, or alternately, beginning with images or sound and moving to text once the key ideas are laid out.

WJtbim ~ UDL curriculum these alternatives are all viable means of expresSiOE .. Flexible materials ;fultil1 the promise of UDL in that they open doors and circumvent barriers for students with disabilities and also impnilve learning opportunities for all students-in the same way that universally designed buildings and technolegies benefit "mainstream" users. As long as you keep the learning goal in mind and ensure that all students are challenged to do thetr best, the cusaculum should offer rich seaffalds supports, and alternative ways of obtaining information and expressing ideas. Tl).rQugh these alternatives, all students benefit


III a UDL curriculum, methods are flexible and diverse enough tp Pllovide appropriate learning experiences, chalIenges, and supports for all students. Pedagogy Matters, Good pedagogy is at the core of a good curriculum. The value of instructional design is in elevating the probability that any one child, and every single child, will learn what is critical to the curriculum. Rather than offering content unsupported and leaving students' success to happenstance, privilege, or random discovery, we teach what is importantand we teach 11 by adopting the most effective methods so that all children will learn.

1;1:1 a diverse classroom, no single method can reach all learners, Multiple pathways to aehieving goals are needed. In a DDt classroom, you can support those multiple pathways by presenting concepts in multiple ways, offering students multiple means of expressing their knowledge, and providing a variety of

options to support each student's engagement with learning. When YOll practice UDL, you assume that each student need his or her own "size" and provide options, scaffolds, and further opportunities for 'illdepth learning as a matter of course. In the examples that follow, we Illustrate what couM be rea], given technologies that exist today; though of course UDL is not yet fully implemented by publishers or by educators.

Benefits of Flexible Pedllgogy. Using a OOL approach to presenting concepts, we can offer multiple examples and highlight the critlcal features that differentiate that concept from others. III a UDL dassroorn, we also assume that students bring varied amounts of background knowledge to a particular concept and offer optional additional background Information for those who may lack prerequisite knowledge. Digital technologies could substantially ease this process (see box. "Mathematics Example"] .

When supporting strategic learning, you can use a DDL approacn to offer

• Models of skilled performance.

• Plentiful chances for students to practice with appropriate supports and ongoing feedback.

• Opportunities to demonstrate skills in a meaningful social coutexr,

We need to provide these models and supports in many ways to meet all students' needs (see box, "U.S. History Example"). When We use a UDL approach, we can actually respond to our recognition that each student will engage with learning for different reasons and in different ways. To support these differences, w:e offer students choices of content and media or tools to work with as long as the Jearn:ing goat is not compromised. To stay interested and committed ro the task at hand, stu-

Universally designed curriculums in dude a range of options for accessing, using, and engaging with learning materialsrecognizing that no single option will' work for all students.

dents also need an appropriate balance of challenge, and support. Vygot;;;ky describes the ideal balance point as where the goal is just beyond reach but achievable with effGft, what he calls the "zone of proxima] development (ZPD) " (Vygotsky, 1978). Of course, the ZPD is different for different students, and teachers can lower the bar without compromising the goal by supporting students in areas of need that are not germane to the challenge at hand. Optional scaffolds might tnclude

• Offering concept maps htghli~hbng main points and supporting details.

• Showing relationships between events Of 'parts or a complex concept.

• Stepping learners through an inquiry process.

Tools that help students organize their work such as templates (visual or textual), highlighting tools that enable students to code and collect content by

categories, and many others. can support organizational or motor difficulties, Remembering Motivation. You can al so adjust the learning context to emphasize collaboration, rather than competition. as in. cooperative learning (Johnso;n & Johnson, 1986, 1989;. Slavin, Madden, & Leavy, 1984), Offering such varied options supports the motivational and emotional involvement of varied learners to a UDL classroom.


'Ina UDL curriculum, assessment is sufficiently flexible to provide accurate, ongoing irIformation that helps teachers adjust lnstruction and maxirniae Ieaming, Individual Progress. Effeeti ve teaching requires accurate knowledge of progress. To obtain this knowledge, we must separate the skill required to use specific media, such as printed text, from the skill or knowledge being assessed. A test


given in a single rnednsm inevitably tests mastery of that medium, "Traditional assessments tend ~0 measure things that reachers are not, to measure (visual aeuity"deeQding'aj:Jility, typing OT writing ability, motivation] making it impossible to disaggregate the C811§es of success .0. failure (Rose & Meyer, 200~J." POI students with disabilities who may have diff:ieulty' witl:!. aparticular medium, HIe test poses Insurmeuntable barriers that have 110tlting to do with the actual skill or knowledge that jss,Uppaseclly being evaluated.

GQal.s Agail1'., and Al.wdys.Like OOL teacl;ting, DDL assessmeut requires a clear understaading of the .learning goal. With that nntlerstanding, teachers Carl provide scaffolds. duting an evaluation to help students cvercome media-


related barriers and show what they really know. Even better, evaluation should be embedded in the materials with which students are worklng, so that ongoing monltoring and feedback can help them stay on track (see box, "Assessment Example"),

Access, Participation.ancl Progress in the Universcdly Designed C .. niculum

When implemented, the UDL CUXfi.cUlum will be Ideally suited to supporting true access, partidpatinn, and progress in the general curriculum for students with disabilities, and indeed, to improving leanung opportunities for all students. With the premise that each student can benefit from a flexlble curriculum offering clear goals, multiple. path-

ways for those goals, and fair and accurate assessment, the UDL curriculum reflects an understanding that each learner i.s unique.


Access in a UDL curriculum occurs at many levels. Most basically, because students with disahilrtiesare considered from the outset, many barriers .fOUl1Q in the mainstream curriculum are e.Iiminared or very much reduced. By build.iLig in flexible cptions for teachers to convey concepts and for students to express their knowledge, the VOL curriculurn increases access (or everyone. Thus the goals, methods, materials, and assessments in a. DDL currieulum are accessible to all,

.Keeping tIle Plan in Mind. There is a tendency co equate access in a cumculurn 'With .access to information, or access to activities. But a curriculum is not information or activities, it is a plan for learning, and therefore the learning

has to be accessible. After all, the important th:ing is nat whether a particular activity or piece of material (a textbook, a film, a software simulation) is accessible; the important tiling is whether the learning for which the material or activity is designed is accessible. That is its purpose in a curriculum. Thus, access needs to be implemented in the context of learning goals (see box, 'Aesop's Fable Example"). .Keeping It Challenging. Because the alternatives offered ill a UPL curriculum could

in theory "give away" the point. of a IesS011, the alternatives and options must be carefully embedded in learning goals in order to preserve true access to learning.


Participation in a UOL curriculum means true engagement with learning, in pursuit of the goal that is defined for the class as a whole. Clearly articulate goals, communicated and agreed to by students, are the bedrock of a. functiona! UD1. curriculum and a. prerequisite for true participation.

Importance of Clear To build learners' awareness and commitment to their learning purposes, teachers ill a UDL classroom make geals clear and help students keep them front and center when working in class or on homework assignments.

'Jeaming How to Learn. More than simple content or skills Ieaming, true participation Involves "learning how to learn," The heavy emphasis on content teaming observed in the mainstream curriculum is shifted towards the mastery of skills and strategies in a universalJy designed curriculum, "Learning bow to plan execute, and evaluate a range of tasks from forming single letters to writing a research paper, directing a video production, or creating a Web sire ... is highly critical to all aspects of learning" (Rose & Meyer, 2002). Skill development is embedded ill all content learning activities to provide opportunities to "jearn how to learn."

Using Varied Ibols. With digital tools. supports for active learning can be built into curriculum materials themselves. In CAST's "Thinking Reader" (see box, "Assessment Example in Reading"), features like text-to-speech, leveled prompts and hints fOT various strategies that are introduced, and a selection of content, challenge, and support, help all learners become more strategic. selfaware, and engaged-CIIiticaJ components to participating in the curriculum.


Progress in a UDLwrriculom is centared 011 curricular goals, not on overcoming curricular barriers. The di tracting "proxie " nr progress-changes in setting or place, increased participation

in activities, reduction of barriers, or success in utilizing accommedations and modifieanons+are DO longer the central focus. Measures of progress for students with disabilities beC0J:11e the same measures as for other students: measures of learning.

Challenging Goals. This emphasis on the goals .tor learning is possible because the curriculum is designed to eliminate barriers to access and participation. But eliminating those barriers does not eliminate all effort or challenge ill teaching goals, which most significant learning requires. On the contrary, UDL requires that the challenge and resistance essential to reallearning be preserved, but properly focused [Rose & Meyer, 2002). The goal of universal design is not to reduce all effort, but to reduce extraneous effort=effort that is unrelated, distracting, disabliag=because it is expended in overcoming barriers and poorly designed pedagogies. When goals do nat needlessly restrict the pathways to success, all students make progress with them. AllowabLe Scaffolds . For diverse students to work effectively towards a common goal. the goa! 'must be dearly defined so that teachers can easily identify "allowable" scaffolds-those supports that do not interfere with learniag, that pre eIVE' the challenge. In addition, assessment measures need te have the same scaffolds built into them that students use when working in class. Only then is the evaluation a fair and accurate assessment of what students know and can do in relation. to that particular learning goal.

Final 'thoughts

The Nati.onal Center for Accessing the Oeneral Curriculum supports a new underlying assumption for curriculum design: "Each learner needs his or her own size." Although this may seem radical. this notion is old hat to clothing manufacturers, designers of car seats, and makers cf fitness equipment.

Resting on this new assumption, UDL offers design principles, technology tools, and implementation strategies {m creating one curriculum that is sufficieruly flexible to reach all students. Clear goals, flexible methods and materials, and embedded assessments make


.Flexible materials fu/filllbe promise of um ,in that

they ,open doors and' drcumvent barriers for students wi',h disabilities and alsol improve leaming lopportunmes for ,011' students.

it possible for students with disabilities to truly access, participate, and progress iLl the general curriculum,


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CURRICULUM ASSOCIATES,® Inc. 153 RClng~eway R(1lOd, No .. Billerica, MA 01862 8QO.225-a24.~ . Fax 800-366-1158 W'WW.curriculumossociotes.Gom

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.7b order lllE book m/.lJ'keri U)' an asterisk (0). please cal! 24 ·111'5/365 days: 1-800·BOOKSNOTJ:T (.266-5766) or (732) 728-10110; or visa litem on the Web at hap:;/ www.clic}(smart. com/teaching!. Use II/SII, M/C, Ai'.{EX. or Discover or send cileck r money order + $4,95 S&J-l (S2.S6 each add'/ irem) to:

Ciuxsman. 400 Mom',' Avenue, 1..0118 Brane/) , NJ 07740; (7.m 728-1040 or ffiX (732) 728- 7080.

Chuck Htteheock, Chief Education 7ecJmology Of[ic,e/; CA T anel lJircaor; Nat'i/:mal Cemer on Accessing ilie General Cuiriculum; Anne Meyer, Co-Executive Diteaor, CAS"I; David Rose, Co-Executive Directol; CAST' and

Principal (1l.IJesti,gator, Nanol1al Center on Acee sing the Ceneral CWTicul1lrn; and Richard Jackson, Associate Professor. tlle Lynch School of Education. Boston College. Chestnut Hill, MAo and Teaching Practices Liaison, NaHonal Center on ActesSrl'!8 me General CWTiculum. Peabody, Massaclw,setts.

Address correspondence to C/ Ffi(eitc.ock, CAST. 39 Cross SIr el. Peabody. MA 01960 (e· mail:

This article UJas written with the support from me Naetonai Geneer on Accessing tile General CUrriculum (NCAC). a cooperative agreement between CAST and the U_S_ Department of Eduuuian. Office of Special Programs (OSF:P) , COOPI!fl)1ive P.greement No. H324H990004_ The opinions expressed herein. do /lot {(ecessarily re{le.Cl ll,le policy or position of the OSE:P and flO official endorsement by the Department should be in.ferred,

TEACH1NG Exceptlonal Children, Vol. 35. No.2. pp. 8-17-

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