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For Educators (some may be useful for others too!)

What is Universal Design for Learning (UDL)?

UDL is a framework for making your classroom accessible for all kinds of learners. It makes accessible space the default rather than an exception. UDL operates on the basis that overarching accessibility benefits all students, not just those with disabilities. For more information, see:

 How can I use UDL for high-support students?

 What is Differentiated Instruction (DI)? How is it different from UDL?

DI principles are based on making learning accessible for all students, who differ in many ways. Teachers use data on students in the classroom to make instructional decisions. DI gives the central role to the teacher in “customizing” teaching at the classroom level based on the students in that class, while UDL provides a framework for designing lessons and curriculum.

Here are two helpful links:

I want to include all learners in my classroom, but one student disrupts the classroom frequently. How do I include them and make sure others can learn?

Behavior often serves as communication and it is our job to seek to understand the messages that are being communicated. Staff need to understand the function of behavior, and should be skilled in positive behavior support and intervention strategies. Teams will want to involve the student, the student’s family and professionals who also work with the student, to find a way to meet the student’s needs in a different way that doesn’t disrupt others. Develop and implement strategies to support the student and teach them alternatives that meet their needs but don’t disrupt the class. Research provides us with a variety of tools that can help students.

Some resources are:

What is accessible technology and how can I use it to enhance inclusion in my classroom?

Accessible technology is a set of tools with three main principles behind them:

  • They can be used by people with and without disabilities
  • They can either be used without assistive technology, or are compatible with standard assistive technology
  • Access features are adjustable for different users’ needs.

Some resources are:

How should I work with students who use assistive technology to communicate (augmentative and alternative communication, or AAC, devices)?

Students who use AAC usually have speech-language services provided by a speech-language pathologist. Students and their families can work with their IEP team to develop a plan. Some resources on AAC are:

What is co-teaching? How can I use it?

According to CAST’s introduction post to co-teaching and inclusion, “Co-teaching is the practice of pairing teachers together in a classroom to share the responsibilities of planning, instructing, and assessing students.” Co-teaching is a partnership between teachers where each teacher is equally responsible for the classroom. Sometimes, a special education teacher is paired with a general education teacher. But that’s not the only way. For more information, see:

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