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Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Published: 8/2/2022 3:56 AM

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an educational practice that works in unison with differentiated instruction. According to the National Center on Universal Design for Learning (2014), UDL is, “a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.”

This thumbnail image is of the 2018 version of the UDL guidelines.  Clicking on this image will take you to an accessible PDF.

CAST (2018). Universal design for learning guidelines version 2.2 [graphic organizer].Wakefield, MA: Author.

When teachers plan lessons using UDL, they are creating "a rich learning environment that is designed around the needs of all students, not just those with identified needs."

Universal Design for Learning is an effective instructional approach that promotes curriculum accessibility for all learners through the use of technology by incorporating Digital Learning opportunities. This increases engagement in the classroom, thus addressing achievement gaps for targeted populations of students. 

Web Based Resources
National Center on Universal Design for Learning—This website provides an in-depth explanation on Universal Design for Learning.
National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials—Discusses how Differentiation and UDL are related.
Universal Design for Learning (University of Louisville)—This website provides a practical approach to UDL and discusses how to incorporate UDL into your classroom.
Lesson Plans

CAST UDL Lesson Builder—This website provides multiple examples of UDL lesson plans in elementary and middle school science.

UDL Lesson—Photo Story - An elementary UDL lesson on Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Superfudge. 


UDL Math 2nd Grade Lesson—This video shows how UDL is incorporated at an elementary school in New York.

UDL Guidelines in Practice: Grade 6 Science—Universal Design for Learning is demonstrated in a science class.


CAST (2018). Universal design for learning guidelines version 2.2 [graphic organizer].Wakefield, MA: Author.

National Center on Universal Design for Learning (July 31, 2014). What is UDL? Retrieved from http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/whatisudl.

Nelson, L. L. (2014). Design and deliver: Planning and teaching using universal design for learning. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing.

Rose, D. & Meyer, A. (2006). A practical reader in Universal Design for Learning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Please contact standards@education.ky.gov with any questions!
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