What is Universal Design and why should we use it? "Often the design is created for the "average" user. In contrast, "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." Disability is just one of many characteristics that an individual might possess. By developing an accessible product or service, the need for adaptations at a later time can be minimized or eliminated." [Copied 11 Sept 2011 from ]http://www.washington.edu/doit/Faculty/Strategies/Universal/Why/ ]
What is Universal Design for Learning and why should we be interested? CAST - http://www.cast.org/udl/ - is a good place to start:
"Universal Design for Learning 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.Why is UDL necessary?
Individuals bring a huge variety of skills, needs, and interests to learning. Neuroscience reveals that these differences are as varied and unique as our DNA or fingerprints." [from www.cast.org/udl/ 11 Sept 2011]