AHG15: Universal Design for Library Instruction

Welcome Accessing Higher Ground attendees!

Sources referenced in my session, along with some related resources, are listed here. They are also available via the Diigo collaborative bookmarking site: mbfortson’s library tagged AHG15UDL.

My slides are available here: Universal Design for Library Instruction (PPTX). If the presentation file is not accessible to you, please contact me so I can get it to you in a format that is.

Thanks for visiting!


UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
“Disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”

Redefining Disability according to the World Health Organization | Art Beyond Sight: Handbook
Valerie Fletcher on redefining disability: “Disability is a phenomenon of the experience that occurs by the individual intersecting with the environment, including physical, information, communication, social and policy environments.”

Universal Design

Principles of Universal Design Quick Reference
Universal Design (UD) is “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.”

Designing for accessibility benefits everyone

Universal design principles can be applied to the information environment, too, and designing for accessibility benefits everyone, not just people with disabilities.

Shared Web Experiences: Barriers Common to Mobile Device Users and People with Disabilities
“People with disabilities using computers have similar interaction limitations as people without disabilities who are using mobile devices. Both experience similar barriers when interacting with websites and web applications. There is also significant overlap between the design solutions for both.”

Financial Factors in Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for Your Organization
“Web accessibility can make it easier for people to find a website, access it, and use it successfully, thus resulting in increased audience (more users) and increased effectiveness (more use).”

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Helping users find mobile-friendly pages
“A page is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if it meets the following criteria as detected by Googlebot:

  • Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  • Uses text that is readable without zooming
  • Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped”

The Myth of Average

The Myth of Average: Todd Rose at TEDxSonomaCounty (Video)
In a TEDx talk titled “The Myth of Average,” Todd Rose “describes how in the 1950s the Air Force had a problem. Despite huge technological advances in fighter airplanes and the recruitment of great pilots, the reactions of pilots in critical situations were getting slower. The problem turned out to be the cockpit design; it was built to fit the average man – which meant the cockpit fit nobody. The Air Force learned to design flexible fighter cockpits that fit the margins of people’s sizes, not the “average”- sized pilot. The goal became to build in flexibility from the outset. As a result, the Air Force tremendously expanded the potential to get the very best pilots – both men and women. By designing to the margins, the Air Force implemented universal design” (The Myth of the Average Child).

The Myth of Average Infographic — Center for Individual Opportunity

Universal Design for Learning

7 Things You Should Know About Universal Design for Learning | EDUCAUSE.edu
“Universal Design for Learning is a framework for the design of materials and instructional methods that are usable by a wide range of students. One aim of UDL is to provide full access to students with special needs, but it offers significant affordances for all students, allowing them to benefit from learning presented through multiple sensory avenues and a variety of conceptual frameworks. Early research about the influence of UDL is positive, showing that it improves engagement and performance among all students.”

About UDL | CAST
“Universal Design for Learning is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone–not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.”

UDL: Principles and Practice (Video)
“National Center on UDL Director David Rose explains how UDL helps meet the most pressing issues facing educators today. Drawing on brain research and the latest learning sciences, Dr. Rose describes the three UDL principles and what they mean for classroom practice.”

UDL and Library Instruction

Supporting Student Success: UDL and Your Library
“Supporting Student Success: UDL and Your Library, is a presentation about Universal Design for Learning (UDL) created by Claire Holmes, Sarah Burns Gilchrist, and Sarah Espinosa for the 2015 Joint Library Conference, MLA/DLA, in Ocean City, Maryland.”

Universal Design for Learning in Library Instruction (PDF)
Poster presented by Rebecca Marrall at the 2011 American Library Association Annual Conference.

Making Makerspaces Accessible with UDL | Designer Librarian
In her blog about instructional design and technology in libraries, “Designer Librarian” Amanda Hovious applies UDL principles to makerspaces in libraries.

Checklist for Inclusive Teaching

Universal Design of Instruction | DO-IT
“The universal design of instruction (UDI) framework is gaining increased attention and application by educational researchers and practitioners at K-12 and postsecondary levels. UDI means that, rather than designing for the average student, you design instruction for potential students who have broad ranges with respect to ability, disability, age, reading level, learning style, native language, race, and ethnicity. Regarding students with disabilities, UDI challenges the instructors to go beyond legal compliance to proactively design an accessible course and integrate practice so that other students benefit as well. UDI can be applied to all aspects of instruction, including class climate, interaction, physical environments and products, delivery methods, information resources and technology, feedback, and assessment.”

The Checklist for Inclusive Teaching (PDF) provides examples of UDI practices. Numbers in brackets at the end of each item in the checklist refer to relevant UD and UDL principles.