UD & UDL in Post Secondary Education

Posted on: December 10, 2012

Education changes constantly and the same  can be stated about universities and colleges, teaching methods and formats have to meet the needs of the students and evolve using research based methods. The following explains some information on UD and UDL for higher education, each individual setting has it’s own way of adopting the concept.

The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) McGill University, presents a great format to faculty and staff in order to embrace and learn regarding Universal Design and Universal Design for Learning, including video examples, a blog, and many resources. Professors and staff can learn what and how to integrate UDL in post secondary instruction. The OSD, McGill has integrated the following specific objectives on UDL to their mission:

The OSD strives to:

  • facilitate wider access to learning
  • promote Universal Design as the model selected to achieve appropriate access for all learners
  • support students who feel access remains an issue for them


From: The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) McGill University

From: The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) McGill University(customizing materials, to meet their university and needs in UDL concepts) The mission states UD and the graphic/picture also explains UDL. 

Another interesting concept is that McGill also has a link for New Resources and workshop request form for more training; I think this is a great example to follow for post secondary institutions. The approach is to integrate, provide resources, examples, and train, a great way method or approach for post secondary settings. Including clearly stating UDL, in the mission and goals of the university is imperative.

From: The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) McGill University. Training and true buy in, are essential.

From: The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) McGill University.                    Training and true buy- in are essential.



Universal Design for Learning in Post Secondary Education by Rose, D. H., Harbour, W. S., Johnston, C. S., Daley, S. G., & Abarbanell, L. (2006) presents some important concepts regarding UDL and post secondary education.  Aside for presenting principles and examples of UDL frameworks, it discusses topics regarding textbooks and lectures: “Typical courses in universities are dominated by two types of media: lectures and textbooks. It is legitimate to ask whether such a prominent position is warranted: are lectures and textbooks effective media for instruction? Not surprisingly the answer is: it depends (p.9)”. Textbooks and lectures can be effective and ineffective to some students; the idea is that readings, lectures, media, and other activities be available- embedded within a course website as a “backbone” to the course, where all students have access. The recommendation made in the article is that attention needs to shift from emphasis on students with disabilities to the disabilities of the learning environment.

It might take some time for universities to get away from the typical course lecture, textbook, and assessment but universities must become more updated in research, and the shift will be necessary for all higher education. Especially, because of the Higher Education Opportunity Act and many universities already implementing UDL initiatives, the old teaching methods will soon have to come to an end.  With many online programs, courses, and technology,  UDL can be embedded easily into the classroom and the shift will be inevitable.  If I worked at a university or college, I would seriously considered what some of the universities like McGill, Boston College, and Colorado State University are currently doing.

The future of UDL makes for a bright outlook for all students !!! 440119-Cartoon-Female-College-Graduate-Walking-Poster-Art-Print



1 Response to "UD & UDL in Post Secondary Education"

Do you pay for your site-it is always so awesome-wonderful ino and presentation, you have a gift.

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