[i] The term Accessible Education has been adopted to capture the value of two frameworks in improving the accessibility of university education: Universal Instructional Design (UID) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Both were informed by the architectural concept of Universal Design, which 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.” (Center for Universal Design, The Principles of Universal Design)
“UID is not just about accessibility for persons with a disability – it’s about truly universal thinking – maximizing learning for students of all backgrounds and learner preferences while minimizing the need for special accommodations.” (University of Guelph, UID Implementation Guide)
“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.” (Center for Applied Special Technology, Universal Design for Learning)
[ii] Nilson, Linda B. (2010). Teaching at Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors (3rd ed). John Wiley and Sons.
[iii] University of Guelph, UID Project, and the National Centre on UDL, Research Evidence.
[iv] Chickering and Gamson (1987). Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.
[v] Table is adapted from Gill, C. (1994). Two Models of Disability. Chicago Institute of Disability, University of Chicago, cited in University of Ottawa, Access Service – Student Academic Success Service. (no date) A guide for professors: Minimizing the impact of learning obstacles