Introduction to Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education

Making reasonable adjustments to the curriculum to enable individual disabled students to engage with the teaching, learning and assessment is a good start in relation to inclusive practices.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

  • UDL is a more inclusive approach to curriculum design and delivery. Rather than making a plethora of individual adjustments to support individual disabled students why not create a curriculum in such a way that most of those adjustments are rendered unnecessary because the curriculum is already inclusive?
  • We are unlikely to be able to remove the need for all such adjustments but using UDL can help you to remove large numbers of them. Not only does a more inclusive curriculum improve the lives of disabled students it often improves the lives of all their non-disabled peers as well.
  • What is more, designing out the need to organise and arrange individual adjustments improves the working lives of staff too.

Why use UDL – watch this YouTube video to learn why

  • These individual reasonable adjustments can build up into a considerable logistical burden for academics when you have large groups 10-15% of which may be disabled.
  • Would it not make so much more sense to develop a curriculum where these adjustments were already designed in? This is sometimes referred to as Universal Design for learning (UDL).
  • You can use this YouTube video to act as a prompt for discussions about curriculum design with your colleagues.from each other by speaking about the covered topic(s).

Viewing time: 3:09 min

Source: UDL and Assessment: An Introduction to UDL and Assessment. 2014. YouTube video. Accessible online at