What is Universal Design?
Universal design is an approach to designing environments and products so that the greatest number of people can use them without the need for adapting. When used in early childhood settings, universal design applies to planning the curriculum, teaching practices and materials in the same way so that the widest range of learners can participate.
- A video, Universal Design for Learning from Building Inclusive Child Care, provides a tour of a child care setting. Click on the Universal Design for Learning link at right.
- Questions to Consider in UDL Observations of Early Childhood Environments (PDF) (2007) — Northhampton Community College and Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council.
- Growing Ideas: Increase Access: Universal Design in Early Care and Education (PDF) (2013) developed by the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS).
- Let’s Play Project: Universal Design. — University at Buffalo, Center for Assistive Technology.
- Learning Ideas: Universal Design in Pre-K and Early Elementary Classrooms (PDF) (2013) developed by the Maine CITE Coordinating Center, University College and the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies.
- NAEYC Beyond the Journal article: The Universal Design of Early Education: Moving Forward for All Children (PDF) (2006).
- NAEYC Teaching Young Children photo essay, Take a look! Visual supports for learning. (PDF) (2011). Authors Blagojevic, Logue, Bennett-Armistead, Taylor and Neal define visual supports and show how they help all children to understand rules and expectations, engage in daily routines, navigate transitions, communicate thoughts, feelings and needs, and increase independence in child care routines and activities.
- CAST UDL Book Builder – this site has resources to hlep you create, share, publish and read digital books that engage and support diverse learners according to their individual needs, interests and skills.
Image Description: Three children playing on computers in the classroom.