DEC Launches New Resource for Instructors and Leaders

Are you interested in free, high-quality, evidence-based resources to use in your work? Would you like a source for fresh ideas to use as part of your practice, courses, professional development, presentations, or briefings? The Division for Early Childhood (DEC), an international membership organization for those who work with or on behalf of young children (0-8) with disabilities and other special needs and their families, may have just what you’re looking for.

Resources within Reason is a new bi-monthly, one-way listserv. Each issue focuses on a topic of interest to individuals who support young children and their families, with emphasis on children with or at risk for disabilities. All featured resources are free.

The content of Resources within Reason is coordinated by Camille Catlett. The listserv is supported by DEC. All or part of Resources within Reason may be freely shared or copied.

To receive Resources within Reason directly, visit and click “Join the listserv”.

We hope you will find this resource useful and encourage others to sign up and use it. We’re provided it in both Word document and PDF versions to make it easy to re-purpose all or part of the document. 

Issues of Resources within Reason are archived on the DEC website at where you can also find information about the organization and other DEC resources for early childhood, early childhood special education, and early intervention professionals.

To suggest resources or request focus topics for the listserv, please contact Camille Catlett at (919) 966-6635 or 

To continue receiving this FREE bi-monthly resource, you must opt-in. 
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of evidence-based practices that can enhance the quality of environments and interactions for young learners who are diverse. UDL supports access and participation through the provision of multiple and varied formats for instruction and learning. The DEC Recommended Practices extoll practitioners to “consider Universal Design for Learning principles to create accessible environments” (pg. 9).[1] Here are some resources for using UDL to support each and every child.
The Evidence for UDL
The National Center on Universal Design for Learning shares guidelines for the effective implementation of UDL that are based on research from several very different fields, and from many different researchers at many different universities and research organizations.

Pages 31-33 of the DEC position statement on Promoting Positive Outcomes for Children with Disabilities: Recommendations for Curriculum, Assessment, and Program Evaluation offer multiple examples of what multiple means of representation, engagement, and expression might look like for young children. 
Envision UDL in Early Childhood Settings
Weary of adapting the environment, materials, and interactions to support individual children? Watch this video to learn how one program shifted to using UDL practices and built in flexibility that can be adjusted for every child’s strengths and needs. Watch Building Inclusive Child Care to see what UDL looks like in a classroom setting.

To see what UDL might look like in outdoor and community settings, read Universal Design and Outdoor Learning .
[1] Division for Early Childhood. (2014). DEC recommended practices in early intervention/early
childhood special education 2014. Retrieved from
To become more familiar with UDL, consider looking at an environment through the lens of this tool:  Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Checklist for Early Childhood Environments Portions of this checklist could easily be adapted for use by students as an observation and planning tool. 
Learn More About UDL
If you’re interested in a brief article that explains the rationale behind UDL and how it can support children with disabilities as well as their peers, you may want
to start with The Universal Design for Early Education: Moving Forward for All Children . The article offers multiple examples of how to apply the principles of UDL in settings supporting young children.

Integrating Principles of Universal Design into the Early Childhood Curriculum is another example of an
article that offers examples and recommendations of how to use UDL to support each young learner in diverse early learning settings.

Additional resources for learning about and supporting the use of UDL may be found in the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center’s collection of resources on Universal Design for Learning .
Resources within Reason is a free, bi-monthly, one-way listserv provided by the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (DEC). All resources are evidence-based, readily available and free. Resources within Reason may be freely shared or reproduced. Past issues are available here.

To sign up for or to continue receiving Resources within Reason, click here

To suggest resources or request topics for the listserv, please contact Camille Catlett at 919.966.6635 or

Visit the DEC website to learn more about resources, practices, products and professional development opportunities that can help support young children with or at risk for disabilities and their families. 
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