Most groups in educational institutions, workplaces, and other settings are diverse in terms of background, cultural and gender identity, mother tongue, socioeconomic status, age, skills, learning preferences, and myriad other characteristics. All human beings have an intersecting identity composed of a multitude of these unique facets. Some of us have characteristics that many consider "disabilities," including those who are blind, deaf, hard of hearing, on the autism spectrum, and have mobility impairments, attention deficits, learning disabilities, and health impairments.
How can educators design lessons to maximize learning for all students? How can employers create environments to maximize the productivity of all employees? How can IT professionals source and develop products that are accessible and usable for all? How can the Studierendenwerke include their offers for everyone? A number of proactive approaches discussed in the literature take a wide audience into account in design practices. These include universal design, accessible design, accessible design, usable design, inclusive design, and design for all. Of the proactive design approaches, there is no approach that appeals to a wider variety of users than Universal Design (UD).
Although UD has its roots in the design field of architecture and commercial products and information technology (IT), its applications in the educational field are growing in number. UD can provide a philosophical framework for the design of all products and environments at all levels of education - including technology, teaching and learning activities, academic spaces, student services and professional meetings. The following paragraphs specify the framework for the application of UD in education (UDE). Important aspects to address include the scope, definition, principles, policies, best practices and processes.
What is the scope of your application?
The scope of UD in Higher Education (UDHE) includes all products and environments that directly or indirectly support teaching and learning in higher education. Examples of more narrowly defined domains are applications of UD to online learning, informal science learning, student services, IT, or physical spaces.
What is the definition of UD?
According to theUniversal Design Center, UD is “the design of products and environments that can be used by all people to the maximum extent possible without the need for customization or special design.” This definition can be modified to narrow the scope. For example, to apply UD to teaching and learning activities, this basic definition can be translated into “the design ofteaching and learningProducts and environments should be usable by everyone as much as possible, without the need for customization or special design."
Characteristics of any UD product or environment are that they are accessible, usable and inclusive.
Which principles and guidelines are relevant for the UDE?
Three sets of principles provide guidelines for the application of universal design regardless of the area of application.
1. Principles of UD
The seven principles of universal design, established by the State of North Carolina's Center for Universal Design, were developed to guide the design of any product, service, or environment. They follow along with an example of the application of each.
- Equal use.The design is useful and marketable for people of different abilities. A website designed to be accessible to everyone, including the blind, uses this principle.
- Flexibility in use.The design takes into account a wide range of individual preferences and abilities. A museum that allows a visitor to read or listen to a description of the contents of a case applies this principle.
- Simple and intuitive.Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills or current level of concentration. Scientific laboratory devices with clear and intuitive control buttons use this principle.
- perceivable information.The design effectively conveys the information required by the user, regardless of the environmental conditions or the user's sensory abilities. Video captions use this principle.
- tolerance for mistakes.The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintentional actions. An educational software program that provides guidance when the user makes an inappropriate choice uses this principle.
- Low physical exertion.The design can be used efficiently, comfortably and without fatigue. Automatically opening doors use this principle.
- Size and space for approach and use.The design provides adequate size and space for approach, reach, manipulation and use, regardless of the user's height, posture or mobility. A science laboratory with adjustable tables uses this principle.
It is important to incorporate relevant disability, accessibility and universal design content into engineering courses to enhance the knowledge and skills of future professionals. This will result in a workforce that is aware of and better able to address accessibility barriers. FindCurriculum around universal designon our website.
2. UDL Principles
Universal design principles can be applied to many environments, products, and services, including learning environments, resources, and teaching methods. Three principles have been established for the universal design of teaching and learning materials and activities that make the learning goals achievable for people with different characteristics, including large differences in the ability to see, hear, speak, move, read , write, understand and listen to English , organize, engage and remember. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is achieved through flexible curriculum materials and activities that provide alternatives for students with different abilities. These alternatives are built into the lesson design and operating systems of lesson materials - they are not added after the fact.
The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) has created a set of three principles with roots in cognitive neuroscience to underpin teaching and learning practices and curricula. The UDL principles are listed below.
- Multiple means of engagement. For purposeful, motivated learners, inspire interest and motivation to learn. UDL policies based on this principle encourage the development of curricula and instruction that include options for perception; language, expressions and symbolism; and understanding.
- Multiple means of representation. Present information and content in different ways for resourceful, knowledgeable learners. UDL policies under this principle encourage the development of curricula and instruction that include options for physical activity, expressive and fluency skills, and executive functions.
- Diverse opportunities for action and expression. For strategic, purposeful learners, differentiate the ways in which students can express their knowledge. UDL policies under this principle encourage the development of curricula and instruction that include options for attracting interest, sustaining effort and persistence, and self-regulation.
3. Principles for the UD OF IT
The third set of principles supporting the UD framework provides design guidance for IT used in many products and environments. In the early years of the Internet, UD practices were applied to the design of hardware and software to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities, English learners, and other groups. These efforts resulted in the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and related practices are underpinned by four guiding principles. Together they require that IT components exhibit these four qualities:
- perceptible. Users must be able to experience the content, regardless of what device or configuration they are using.
- operable. Users must be able to operate the controls, buttons, sliders, menus, etc. no matter what device they are using.
- Understandable. Users must be able to understand the content and the user interface.
- Robust. Content must be encoded in accordance with relevant encoding standards to ensure that it is accurately and meaningfully interpreted by devices, browsers, and assistive technologies.
How the three sets of principles and guidelines work together in a specific application
The combination of the principles discussed above can be used to make almost any product or environment universal. For example, in higher education, the combined set can be applied to create more inclusive physical spaces, instruction, and online resources. However, instead of memorizing the fourteen principles underlying Universal Design in Education (UDE), practitioners work towards adhering to them by following three simple guidelines:
- Provide participants with multiple opportunities to learn and demonstrate what they have learned.
- Offer multiple ways to interact.
- Ensure that all technology, facilities, services, resources and policies are accessible to people with a variety of disabilities.
One of the challenges with the current state of IT's UD, UDL, UD applications is that the three different communities making the most efforts in each category rarely talk to each other. UD advocates have made strides in the movement to design living spaces that can be used by people with disabilities or the elderly, but not so much in the design of laboratories and other academic settings; UDL proponents sometimes apply the three principles but use inaccessible IT; and UD of IT proponents often consider the design of the technology used in educational environments, but not how it interacts with the pedagogy used to deliver instruction.
A great example of how these three principles can be integrated together is when designing a class. Whether classes are in-person or online, class design should aim to involve all students, including those with disabilities, and allow all students to access course content and fully participate in class activities. Universal design principles can apply to lectures, classroom discussions, group work, handouts, web-based instruction, fieldwork, and other academic activities. The 7 principles of UD are particularly helpful in designing classroom settings such as computer labs; the 3 principles of the UDL guide the development of the curriculum and pedagogy; and the 4 Principles for the UD of IT underlying WCAG guide the creation and use of IT used in any application to ensure that it is accessible, usable and inclusive for all, including people with disabilities.
The following Universal Design of Instruction examples, employing all three sets of UD principles, were developed by theAccessCollegeproject ofDO-IT-Centerwith input from a nationwide collaborative team. There are eight application areas.
- inclusion.Introduce practices that reflect high values of diversity and inclusivity. Example: Include a statement in your curriculum inviting students to meet with you to discuss disability accommodation and other special learning needs.
- physical access.Ensure that activities, materials and equipment are physically accessible and usable by all students and that all potential student characteristics are included in safety considerations. Examples: Develop safety procedures for all students, including blind, deaf, or wheelchair users; Identify safety equipment easily, in large print and in a place that is visible from different angles; repeat printed instructions orally.
- delivery methods. Use a variety of accessible teaching methods. Example: use multiple modes – e.g. Lectures, collaborative learning options, hands-on activities, web-based communication, educational software, fieldwork, etc. - to deliver content and engage and engage students.
- information resources.Ensure course materials, notes, and other informational resources are flexible and accessible to all students. For example, choose printed materials and prepare a syllabus well in advance to allow students the opportunity to start reading the materials and working on assignments before class begins, and allowing enough time to organize alternative formats such as audiobooks .
- interaction.Encourage effective interactions between students and between students and the teacher, and ensure methods of communication are accessible to all participants. Example: Assign group work that emphasizes collaboration and emphasizes diverse skills and roles.
- return message.Give specific feedback regularly. Example: Allow students to present parts of their work for feedback before the final project is due.
- valuation. Regularly evaluate student progress and adjust lessons accordingly. Example: Use a variety of accessible methods and tools to assess student performance in collaborative groups and as individuals.
- accomodation. Plan additional accommodations to meet specific student needs. Example: Prepare to provide materials in alternative formats, change class location, or arrange other accommodation for the disabled.
Although the use of Universal Design of Instruction (UDI) requires the need for special precautions - e.g. By applying UDI to courses as they are being created, educators minimize the need to make adjustments later. For example, giving all students access to your lesson notes and assignments on an accessible website can eliminate the need to provide materials in alternative formats. For more information on accommodation and examples of what to plan for, visit ouraccommodationsPages.
What UD practices are associated with scopes?
The UD framework can be fleshed out further by developing examples of practices that can be employed by individuals who wish to apply it to a specific application. For example in the publicationEqual access: universal teaching designYou will find a comprehensive list of examples, each explicitly linked to one or more of the principles of UD, UDL and ITAccessCollegecollaborative team helped develop example lists for the UD of practices reported inThe Center for Universal Design in Education. There you will find practices aligned with the UD of
- physical spaces
- Projects, conference exhibitions, presentations and professional organizations
The table below provides examples of practices that build on each of the elements in the four sets of principles that underpin the UD Framework.
Practical example applying the principles
UD 1. Fair Use
Career Services. Job postings are available in formats that are accessible to people of a wide variety of abilities, disabilities, ages, racial/ethnic backgrounds, and technologies.
UD 2. Flexibility in use
Campus-Museum. An exhibition design allows a visitor to read or listen to descriptions of the contents of showcases.
UD 3. Simple and intuitive
valuation. Tests are performed in a predictable, straightforward manner.
UD 4. Perceivable Information
Dormitory. An emergency alert system has visual, audible, and kinesthetic properties.
UD 5. Fault Tolerance
educational software.An application provides guidance when a student makes an inappropriate choice.
UD 6. Low physical exertion
curriculum. The software includes on-screen control buttons large enough for students with limited fine motor skills to make selections.
UD 7. Size and space for approach and use
Science Laboratory. An adjustable table and flexible workspace accommodate right- or left-handed students with a wide range of physical characteristics.
UDL 1. Multiple ways of engagement
Courses. Multiple examples ensure relevance to a diverse student population.
UDL 2. Multiple means of representation
promote services. Various forms of barrier-free media are used to communicate the services provided.
UDL3. Diverse opportunities for action and expression
course project. A dedicated project optimizes individual choice and autonomy.
WCAG 1. Perceivable
Student union website. A person who is blind and uses a screen reader can access the content in images because text descriptions are provided.
WCAG 2. Operational
Learning Management System (LMS).A person who cannot use a mouse can navigate through all content and operate all functions using a keyboard (or a device that emulates a keyboard) alone.
WCAG 3. Understandable
training materials.Definitions are provided for unusual words, phrases, idioms, and abbreviations.
WCAG 4. Robust
application forms.Electronic forms can be filled out using a variety of devices, including assistive technologies.
Source: Burgstahler, S. (2020).Creating Inclusive Learning Opportunities in Higher Education: A Universal Design Toolkit. Harvard Education Press, p. 45.
What is the process for applying for UD?
The process is the last element in the UD framework. The list below is an example of a process for applying Universal Design in Higher Education (UDHE). It can be adapted to any application of UD.
- Identify the application and best practices in this area.Specify the product or environment you want to apply UDHE to. Identify best practices in the area of application (e.g. evidence-based teaching methods, technology standards, architectural design specifications).
- Consider the different characteristics of potential users.Describe various characteristics of potential users that the application is designed for - e.g. B. relating to gender; age; ethnicity; Run; Native language; learning preferences; Size; Ability to see, hear, walk, manipulate objects, read, speak - and the challenges they might face when trying to engage with the product or the environment.
- Integrate UDHE with best practices in this area. Integrate UDHE practices (underpinned by relevant UD, UDL, and WCAG principles) with best practices within the scope to maximize the utility of the application for people with a variety of characteristics.
- plan accommodations.Develop processes for providing housing for people who are not automatically granted access by design (e.g. using assistive technology or sign language interpreters). Publicize these processes through signage, curriculum, publications, or websites.
- Evaluate.After implementing the product or environment, collect feedback from people with different characteristics who use it (e.g. through online polls, focus groups). Make changes based on the results. Return to step 3 if there are any indications from your review that improvements should be made to your design.
Source: Burgstahler, S. (2020).Creating Inclusive Learning Opportunities in Higher Education: A Universal Design Toolkit. Harvard Education Press, p. 47–8.
To further study the UD framework
See the book for more details and more examples of the UD frameworkCreating Inclusive Learning Opportunities in Higher Education: A Universal Design Toolkitand at theCenter for Universal Design in Education.
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The following DO-IT publications and videos apply universal design principles to a wide variety of products and environments; Including instruction, websites, distance learning courses, software, multimedia, libraries, computer labs, career centers, advising offices, tutoring and learning centers, and conference ...What are the 3 principles of UDL? ›
CAST developed UDL guidelines that are based on three main principles that align with these learning networks. The three UDL principles are engagement, representation, and action and expression.What are examples of universal design principles? ›
Things like curb cuts, large, color contrasting fonts, and sloped entrances are all examples of universal design.What is the purpose of the 7 principles of universal design? ›
Developed in 1997 by a working group of architects, product designers, engineers and environmental design researchers, the '7 principles of universal design' aim to “guide the design process and educate both designers and consumers about the characteristics of more usable products and environments."What are the 4 components of the UDL? ›
Four highly interrelated components comprise a UDL curriculum: goals, methods, materials, and assessments.Why are the 3 principles of UDL important? ›
Each UDL principle is designed to help educators improve how we present information, engage students and create inclusive evaluations. It also harnesses the power of digital technology.How does UDL improve student outcomes? ›
UDL classrooms addresse the needs of all students by providing more flexibility and fewer barriers to learning. It breaks learning down into three parts — representation, action and expression, and engagement — and provides multiple means of accessing each part.What is universal design and why is it important? ›
Universal design means planning to build physical, learning and work environments so that they are usable by a wide range of people, regardless of age, size or disability status. While universal design promotes access for individuals with disabilities, it also benefits others.How are principles of design used in everyday life? ›
- Create new habits of working and living. ...
- Make incremental changes. ...
- Make time for it. ...
- Start by sketching out your life. ...
- Change your life, and work follows. ...
- Don't beat yourself up.
Universal design principles can be applied to many environments, products, and services, including learning environments, resources, and methods of instruction.
1) Provide options for perception 2) Provide options for language, mathematical expressions, and symbols 3) Provide options for comprehension Multiple Means of Action & Expression: 4) Provide options for physical action 5) Provide options for expression and communication 6) Provide options for executive functions ...What is the universal design process? ›
Typically, designers focus their attention on the average user. In contrast, universal design (UD), according to The Center for Universal Design, "is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design" (Source).What are the 8 basic principles of design? ›
The elements, or principles, of visual design include Contrast, Balance, Emphasis, Movement, White Space, Proportion, Hierarchy, Repetition, Rhythm, Pattern, Unity, and Variety. These principles of design work together to create something that is aesthetically pleasing and optimizes the user experience.What are the 7 elements and 8 principles of design? ›
The seven principles of art and design are balance, rhythm, pattern, emphasis, contrast, unity, and movement. The elements of art and design are line, shape/form, space, value, color, and texture. The elements of art and design are the tools of visual artists.What is the main purpose of the principles of design? ›
What is the purpose of principles of design? The principles of design influence the way users view and interact with a design. When implemented purposefully, they can be used to create an emotional impact on the user, as well as enhance the overall user experience.What are the 5 core design principles? ›
Summary: The principles of scale, visual hierarchy, balance, contrast, and Gestalt not only create beautiful designs, but also increase usability when applied correctly.What are universal design principles architecture? ›
Universal design principles call for structures and spaces to accommodate a variety of abilities; be easy and intuitive to use; communicate necessary information, regardless of sensory abilities; minimize opportunity for error; and be able to accommodate different body sizes, postures and mobility.What are universal principles? ›
In law and ethics, universal law or universal principle refers to concepts of legal legitimacy actions, whereby those principles and rules for governing human beings' conduct which are most universal in their acceptability, their applicability, translation, and philosophical basis, are therefore considered to be most ...What are the 4 principles of learning? ›
Simplify the main ideas. Engage with the material. Apply your knowledge. Relevance is crucial for retention.Why is it important to use UDL in the classroom? ›
UDL has benefits for both learners and educators. UDL has the capacity to make teaching and learning more inclusive and accessible for everyone. Educators who implement UDL often find: A reduction in the need for, and time required to arrange, individual learning and assessment accommodations.
- Know your students' strengths and barriers. ...
- Use digital materials when possible. ...
- Share content in a variety of ways. ...
- Offer choices for how students demonstrate their knowledge. ...
- Take advantage of software supports. ...
- Low and No Tech options do exist.
One example of this is posting goals for specific lessons in the classroom. Students might also write down or insert lesson goals in their notebooks. The teacher refers to lesson goals during the lesson itself.How do UDL help kids with learning and thinking differences? ›
UDL builds in flexibility that can make it easier for learners to use their strengths to work on their weaknesses. Reduces stigma. By giving a variety of options to everyone, UDL doesn't single out the few who receive formal accommodations for a disability.How can UDL support all students? ›
By facilitating the design and implementation of a flexible, responsive curriculum, UDL offers options for how information is presented, how students respond or demonstrate their knowledge and skills, and how students are engaged in learning.How can UDL be used to improve professional practice? ›
- Resist the average, embrace your jagged PL profile. ...
- Include options and choice to personalize your experience. ...
- Intentionally plan and iterate, and proactively seek to change. ...
- Leverage technology to support, enhance and accelerate your learning.
Universal design is the process of creating products that are accessible to people with a wide range of abilities, disabilities, and other characteristics.What is an example of universal design product? ›
One of the most common examples of universal design, and one that you probably use every day, is the sidewalk ramp, or curb cut. A curb cut is essential for people using wheelchairs, but it also benefits kids riding bikes, seniors using walkers, parents pushing strollers, and delivery people pulling heavy dollies.What are standards of universal design? ›
Universal design is a building concept that incorporates products, general design layouts and characteristics into residences in order to: Make the residence usable by the greatest number of people; • Respond to the changing needs of the resident; and • Improve marketability of the residence.Why design factors are important in our daily life? ›
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- Love More. Not just people or things, but yourself. ...
- Be Vigilant With Your Thoughts. ...
- Practice Mindfulness. ...
- Regular Personal Development. ...
- Attitude Is Everything. ...
- Be Of Service To Others. ...
- Character Is More Important Than Reputation. ...
- Let Go Of Worry, Fear, And Anxiety.
The elements of design are the fundamental aspects of any visual design which include shape, color, space, form, line, value, and texture.What are the 7 Kwanzaa principles? ›
- Umoja (Unity) To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race. ...
- Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) ...
- Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) ...
- Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) ...
- Nia (Purpose) ...
- Kuumba (Creativity) ...
- Imani (Faith)
- Provide options for Perception ( 1) Offer ways of customizing the display of information ( 1.1) ...
- Provide options for Language & Symbols ( 2) Clarify vocabulary and symbols ( 2.1) ...
- Provide options for Comprehension ( 3) Activate or supply background knowledge ( 3.1)
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Step 7: Improve
Prototypes are built quickly for a reason. Chances are that you will create a few of them while you perfect the design. Step seven is not so much a step as it is backtracking to the planning phase and determining what should be changed in your design, building a new prototype, and testing again.
Many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas.
“Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, but a cultural one with an inherent spiritual quality,” Karenga writes.
Kwanzaa is a strictly secular holiday. Although its seven-pronged kinara bears a resemblance to the eight-pronged Jewish menorah, it has no connection to Judaism. And although Kwanzaa is celebrated immediately after Christmas, it is neither related to nor intended to supplant the Christian holiday.What religion practices Kwanzaa? ›
Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday, not a religious holiday, that can be celebrated alongside other major religious and secular holidays.