UDL Grant History

Photo: Susan Edelman and Larry Shelton.The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) grant, entitled Supporting Faculty to Teach all Students: A Universal Design Consulting Team Model, is a $1 million, three year grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The grant began October 1, 2008 and ran through September 30, 2011

Susan Edelman and Larry Shelton, co-principal investigators on a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, say the program they'll help develop over the next three years will be a resource for faculty to improve the academic experience of students with disabilities, though the strategies they learn are likely to benefit all learners. (Photo: Sally McCay)

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Universal Design - Abstract

Supporting Faculty to Teach All Students: A Universal Design Consulting Team Model - Demonstration Projects to Ensure Students with Disabilities Receive a Quality Higher Education (CFDA 84.333A)

Diversity among college and university students across the nation increases each year. Among those are students with disabilities, some of whom until recently might never have considered to pursue higher education, and some for whom successful completion of courses or programs has been difficult. Universal Design (UD), a concept that emerged from the field of architecture, keeps with the wisdom that, rather than provide an accommodation or adaptation to an individual who has specific needs as an afterthought, it is more efficient and effective to design from the start in such a way that everyone and anyone can have access, regardless of personal characteristics. The overall goal of this project is to develop a system of campus-wide supports and resources for the creation of learning environments and experiences that serve the diverse learning needs of UVM students based upon principles of Universal Design (UD), and to increase the use of UD principles and practices by faculty members campus-wide.

Grant Objectives

Objective 1: To develop a comprehensive Resource Map of UVM's current resources for faculty, staff and students with respect to UD.
Objective 2: To measure faculty attitudes, knowledge and experiences of disability, UD, and accommodations as baselines for this project, as well as for future studies of change over time.
Objective 3: To develop a model of collaborative technical assistance and training using Universal Design Consulting Teams to assist faculty teaching students with disabilities by providing semester-long assistance with problem-solving, creative applications, and technology support for implementing UD.
Objective 4: To infuse into orientation activities for all new faculty and Graduate Teaching Fellows (GTFs) basic knowledge and information about tools and resources to support the use of UDL and accommodations for students with diverse learning needs and identified disabilities.
Objective 5: To develop a comprehensive system of resources on UD for UVM faculty, staff and students that is readily accessible, user-friendly, and builds upon the work of the New England Consortium for Equity and Excellence in Higher Education (E&E), and regional and national leaders in UD, extending it to include contributions of UVM faculty, staff and students developed through this project.

The proposed project addresses the need to increase use of principles of UD and to improve the quality of UVM academic offerings to students with disabilities. Project staff will work collaboratively with ACCESS services, student groups and the Center for Teaching and Learning personnel to develop, implement, and evaluate the technical assistance model and all training and dissemination activities.

Anticipated outcomes of the project include:

This project will contribute to better integration of UD practices and knowledge of accommodation pedagogy to the benefit of all students.