Universal Design:  Applications in Postsecondary Settings
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Introduction to
Universal Design



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The Principles of Universal Design

The Principles of Universal Design were conceived and developed by The Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University. Several programs have taken these principles and adapted them for the educational setting. One project that has taken this approach is the Universal Instructional Design Project at the University of Guelph. They have re-stated the principles to relate to educational environments as follows.

Instructional materials and activities should

  1. be accessible and fair.
  2. provide flexibility in use, participation and presentation.
  3. be straightforward and consistent.
  4. be explicitly presented and readily perceived.
  5. provide a supportive learning environment.
  6. minimize unnecessary physical effort or requirements.
  7. ensure a learning space that accommodates both students and instructional methods.

Source: Jaellayna Palmer, University of Guelph 2002.

UID Principles (PDF)

To view other examples of how the principles of Universal Design have been adapted for educational settings, visit the links below.

University of Connecticut: Universal Design of Instruction

Frank Bowe: Universal Design in Education: Teaching Non-Traditional Students

Center of Applied Special Technologies (CAST): Universal Design for Learning

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