[MUSIC] You may have heard the term universal design or inclusive design in reference to the architecture of buildings or the design of products. Universal design principles include characteristics such as, flexibility, simplicity, intuitive use, and low physical effort, that allow as many people as possible to effectively and easily use the environment or product. Some common examples of universal design are meaningful icons, along with text on your computer screen, or lever door handles rather than twisting knobs. For example, I like when the tread, or base of a step, is painted a different color than the riser to the next step. This enhances depth perception and helps many people safely climb the stairs. In this presentation, we are going to consider the concept of Universal Design for Learning. It is a framework for inclusive education that places the burden for accessibility on the curriculum and instructional materials, rather than on the students. Courses are designed with flexibility in mind. Flexibility in how students navigate their learning environment and how instructors engage or assess student learning. There are many students who have hidden disabilities, such as Attention Deficit Disorder. Or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder who may not wish to self-identify as having a disability. Without disclosing that they have a documented disability, they would not receive academic services or accommodations in most institutions. Some educators believe that higher education students with disabilities do not disclose their disability due to concern about being labeled as different or limited in some way. Let me share three examples of faculty who have incorporated flexibility and alternative formats into their courses. Example number one, Dr. Kumar teaches a human anatomy course in a nutrition program. Activities used throughout her course are drag and drop exercises, matching terms with the parts of the body. One of the students in her course is blind and cannot complete the drag and drop exercises. He uses a screen reader with shortcut keys rather than a mouse, therefore he cannot complete the drag and drop activities. As an alternative exercise, Dr. Kumar provides a matching activity with terms and verbal descriptions in a Word document. Answers are provided at the bottom of the document. Dr. Kumar was surprised that many students used the text based alternative documents because they liked to print the documents for studying. Example number two, Mr. Perez teaches Italian in a flipped classroom format. Through the learning management system, students view several short instructional videos with narrated PowerPoint slides prior to coming to class. One day after class, Sam Conn, a student with an Attention Deficit Disorder, politely ask Mr. Perez to provide a copy of the PowerPoint slides as an electronic handout along with the instructional videos. Sam wanted to have slides for note taking. Mr. Perez asked if there was anything else he could do to help understand the lessons. Sam shyly added he would appreciate two additional aides. One, unique slide titles and two, slide numbers. Having unique titles would help him when he goes back to review key information. And having numbers on each slide would help him stay focused as he tries to sync his note-taking with the video. These are simple requests, and Mr. Perez was happy to make these minor adjustments. This is a good reminder to ask students how you can support their learning. They have many years of experience as students, and can share strategies that have helped them in the past. Example number three, Dr. Alton has been an award winning college professor for 12 years in the School of Education, teaching educational psychology. In her course, Educational Psychology, Dr. Alton incorporates a variety of assessment strategies that allows students to demonstrate their mastery of the course outcomes. She uses weekly quizzes instead of stressful, high stakes, midterm and final exams. She includes an oral presentation, a team project, several written essays and class participation to determine the student's final grade. Dr. Alton's course is demanding, but students appreciate her passion for teaching, and a variety of authentic activities that keep them engaged. In conclusion, higher education institutions may be underestimating the number of enrolled students with disabilities. Universal Design for Learning is a proactive approach to teaching and learning. Rather than thinking about accessibility one student at at time, think about strategies to create the most positive and inclusive learning materials for all students.