December 2010

Welcome to the first issue of the UDL FOCUS from the National UDL Center. In this issue, you'll find information about US Secretary of Education Duncan's letter to Congress on the National Education Technology Plan plus links to news and resources on UDL implementation and research.

Don't miss the Designing UDL Contest (which ends TODAY!) and the UDL Fellowship deadline on January 14, 2011.

Policy iconSecretary Highlights UDL in Letter to Congress
Capitol Building in Washington, DCIn a letter to Members of Congress in November, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan cited UDL and state-of-the-art technology as critical to implementing the National Education Technology Plan, Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology. He described UDL as helping "to enable, motivate, and inspire all students to achieve, regardless of background, languages, or disabilities."
Implementation iconNew Group Focuses on UDL Implementation and Research

teachers working in a groupK-12 educators and higher education faculty and researchers convened in Chicago in October to lay the groundwork for a new initiative focused on research, implementation and scaling up of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Convened by Dr. James Basham and Jeff Diedrich, the UDL Implementation and Research Network (UDL-IRN) agreed to build a common understanding of the critical elements for UDL implementation, establish and secure funding sources for a research agenda, and promote UDL implementation and research via the National UDL Center. You can sign up for updates from the UDL-IRN and learn more by reading the UDL-IRN press release.

UDL Guidlines iconScience Project Studies UDL Principles

a teacher and her students work on a science lab projectScience educators at all grade levels face a daunting challenge: raising academic performance in all the sciences of an increasingly diverse student population. Led by EDC's Jackie Miller and June Foster, a new science project is tackling this problem by creating novel kinds of science materials that embody the principles and practices of high-quality science and UDL features, such as highlighting critical text; categorizing and organizing notes from reading, experiments, and discussions; and multimedia coaches that provide models of successful practice. For more information, go to the EDC newsletter.

Community iconNews You Can Use

Designing UDL contest logoDesigning UDL Contest Ends TODAY! We want to know what UDL means to you! Submissions should describe how UDL has influenced you as a learner or as an educator. These submissions can come in a variety forms (text, audio, video, photo/drawing, etc.) - be creative, we want to see 'multiple means of expression!' To submit, upload your idea to the Designing UDL Ning Network by 5:00 PM EST TODAY (December 1). Or, help us Vote for the People's Choice between December 2 at 10 a.m. and December 9, 2010 at 5 p.m.

UDL Fellows logoUDL Leadership Fellowship Boston College and CAST are now accepting applications for 2011-2012 UDL Post-doctoral Fellowship which are due January 14, 2011. Fellows will be notified by February 15 and begin their residency at CAST in September 2011. For more information, read the description or email

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Meet the UDL Faculty

CAST's UDL Faculty Cadre prepares educators to apply UDL to the general education curriculum through on-site workshops and institutes. To learn more about UDL professional development opportunities, email

Elfreda Blue
headshot of Elfreda Blue

Elfreda Blue is an associate professor of the Department of Counseling, Research, Special Education, and Rehabilitation at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. She teaches technology and curriculum methods courses for pre-service teachers in elementary and secondary special education graduate programs. Her research interests and publications focus on technology and curricular resources to support the literacy needs of diverse learners.

George Van Horn
headshot of George VanHorn George Van Horn leads his district's plan to adopt UDL as a framework for curriculum and instruction for all students in his current position as the Director of Special Education for the Bartholomew Special Services Cooperative in Columbus, Indiana. He has served as a general education teacher, principal, school superintendent and a teacher of students with emotional disabilities. In addition, George has taught as an adjunct assistant professor at Manhattan College in New York and an adjunct faculty member with Northern Illinois University and Indiana University Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC).

This Month:
UDL Challenges

Would You Recognize UDL if You Saw it?
In this article, Dr. Dave Edyburn "highlights the nuances associated with translating UDL theory into practice." He also offers 10 propositions to move the UDL field forward.

Download the article

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