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Ableism: Universal Design of Learning

Universal Design of Learning (UDL)

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.  UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.

The UDL focuses on a three-network model of learning that is inclusive to the variability of all learners.

  1. Provide multiple means of engagement
    • The WHY of learning
  2. Provide multiple means of representation
    • The WHAT of Learning
  3. Provide multiple means of action and expression
    • The HOW of learning

The UDL Guidelines provide benchmarks that guide educators in the development and implementation of the UDL curriculum. For further information, the CAST website and pdf are linked below.

Universal Design for Learning by Chrissie Butler (used under CC BY-NC 2.0)

UDL Guidelines 2.0 by Don Glass, Modified by Chrissie Butler (used under (CC BY-NC 2.0)


Making UDL courses can seem like a large task, however there are resources like UFV's Teaching and Learning Department that can help. Start small by looking at what accommodations you have been asked for and offered in the past. Is that an accommodation you could incorporate in your course from now on without anyone asking for it? Could you roll that accommodation into all your courses?

Then look at offering materials in multiple formats; offer a paper copy to the class but also upload it to blackboard so they have an electronic copy.




The University of the Fraser Valley is situated on the traditional territory of the Stó:lō peoples. The Stó:lō have an intrinsic relationship with what they refer to as S’olh Temexw (Our Sacred Land), therefore we express our gratitude and respect for the honour of living and working in this territory.

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