Universal Design for Learning and Accessible Digital Textbooks
Find out what ADT is and how it can transform education
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What is Universal Design for Learning (UDL)?
UDL is an educational framework that recognizes that all children and adolescents learn in different ways and benefit from differentiated learning techniques in the classroom.
Essentially, UDL is applied to educational practices, spaces and materials, seeking to adapt to individual differences and learning styles in flexible school environments.
This approach is specially adapted to children and adolescents with different types of disabilities and facilitates their inclusion in the classroom.
"When the education system moves away from models that try to standardize teaching, learning outcomes improve for all children and adolescents with or without disabilities, and students' motivation to learn increases."
Technology and Universal Design for Learning
As a first step to help educational systems move towards inclusive education and the provision of accessible learning materials, with our partners we have promoted the use of technology as a means for students to learn through:
Multiple representation formats
Since students perceive and assimilate information differently (some learn better with visual tools, while others need auditory stimuli), it is necessary to have multiple content presentation formats that allow students to learn using different options for perception, languages, symbols and understanding.
For example, videos with subtitles and audio transcripts make it easier for students who are deaf or have speech processing difficulties to access the information presented in the videos.
Multiple actions and expression options
Each student expresses what they learn in different ways. As indicated by CAST, "it should also be recognized that action and expression require a great deal of strategy, practice, and organization, and this is another area in which learners can differ. In reality, there is not one means of action and expression that will be optimal for all learners; providing options for action and expression is essential.”
Multiple ways to participate
Students participate and are motivated to learn in different ways. This principle allows and encourages students to explore different interests and individual learning methods. For some people, this may mean watching video tutorials, while for others, it may mean doing interactive exercises to demonstrate their knowledge. Therefore, having textbooks that contemplate multiple forms of participation in education supports all children’s and adolescents’ learning alike.