March, 2011



Keep up-to-date with the resources offered in this issue of the UDL FOCUS, including information about 1) President Obama's speech on education innovation, 2) U.S. Department of Education's Karen Cator discussion of UDL and the National Education Technology Plan, 3) the UDL Principles and Practice film series, 4) an upcoming UDL Forum hosted by an Indiana school district, 5) the new UDL Implementation and Research Network (UDL-IRN) website, 6) the use of VoiceThread to engage in UDL Connect discussions, 7) a new community connection for the IDEA Partnership, 8) two members of the UDL Faculty, and a UDL challenge question on policy considerations for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
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Policy iconPolicyWhat Do President Obama and David Rose Have in Common?
Policy iconPolicy2National Tech Director Mentions UDL in Edutopia Video
Karen Cator responds on Edutopia
The U.S. Department of Education's Director of Educational Technology, Karen Cator, responded in a video response to questions posted on Edutopia's discussion forum about the National Education Technology Plan (NETP). Her comments featuring UDL in learning and assessment run from 6:51-8:04.


UDL Guidlelines iconguidelinesUDL Principles and Practice Film Series Features UDL in the Classroom
UDL Film Series pic
Created with support from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the UDL Principles and Practice film series is a response to calls from the field for more practical resources for understanding and implementing UDL. Ranging from 3-10 minutes each, these films explore the principles of UDL and the UDL Guidelines, providing practical examples of UDL implementation in three classrooms. Organizations are encouraged to link to these free resources for educational purposes.
UDL Guidlelines icon guidelines2Indiana District to Host UDL Forum
School building
On March 31, 2011, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation in Columbus, IN will host a UDL Forum. Nationally recognized UDL expert David Rose's keynote will kick off the day followed by a brief Q & A. Elementary, middle and high school teachers from BCSC will lead concurrent sessions, each focused on the three UDL principles. The day will conclude with a panel discussion including Dr. Rose, BCSC leaders, and teachers. Learn more about this special event.

UDL Guidlines iconresearchUDL Implementation & Research Network Now On-line


UDL-Implementation and Research Network logoOrganized in late 2010, the UDL Implementation and Research Network (UDL-IRN) is an international organization focused on supporting UDL implementation. Immediate tasks include establishing non-profit 501(c)(3) status, developing leadership and membership structures, and encouraging membership growth. To learn more about the UDL-IRN, or to join, explore their new website.

Community iconadvocacyVoiceThread Feature Enhances UDL Connect Discussions

image of a comment Voice ThreadTo provide the UDL community with options for conversational expression and communication, the latest UDL Connect discussion about the new version of Guideline 5 is embedded in a VoiceThread. 

VoiceThread is a free, collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate slides and leave comments in five different ways: voice, text, audio file, video or drawing on the slides. Join the discussion and enjoy these new options!

Community iconcommunity2IDEA Partnership Community of Practice on UDL Joins UDL Connect

Shared_Work_logoTo expand and enrich discussions on UDL across membership organizations, the IDEA Partnership, a federally funded project led by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE), recently created a discussion group in the National UDL Center's UDL Connect. The IDEA Partnership pioneered the concept of communities of practice in education. "Now," says IDEA Partnership Director Joanne Cashman, "this natural evolution of our UDL community will allow us to continue our work by networking with others who share our passion for UDL."  Join the discussion.

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Meet the UDL Faculty 

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


Anne Denham

Anne Denham

Anne Denham has over 20 years experience in education serving as a classroom teacher, administrator, and consultant at the state and national levels. Her knowledge and experience with assistive technology has provided a solid base for working with students with significant cognitive disabilities in accessing the general curriculum, facilitating inclusion, and in design, development, and implementation of large scale assessment using alternate academic achievement standards. This combination of experience and interests has led to her commitment to Universal Design for Learning (UDL). She has worked with the National Alternate Assessment Center and CAST on a project that looks at the presence of UDL in alternate assessments.

Eul Jung (EJ) Chun

UDL Faculty: EJ Chun

EJ Chun is an Assistant Professor in Educational Psychology at Miami University. She teaches special education courses to pre-service teachers, focusing on instructional methods for students with learning and behavioral challenges in general education settings. One of her primary areas of research is in using service learning as a teaching method to provide students with access to the general curriculum in authentic contexts. She is also interested in using technology to meet the diverse needs of students and to realize UDL.


this_monthThis Month: 

UDL Challenges


To what extent can suggestions from the Policy Foundations of UDL influence future national policy?


Increasingly federal policy has included UDL, such as the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA). In this paper, Harvard professor and former U.S. Office of Special Education (OSEP) Director Tom Hehir shares the historical foundations of UDL, tracking its development from the 1970's to NCLB and IDEA.


As Congress frames proposals for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the policy suggestions offered in this paper are worth considering.


Learn more!

Read the article


What would you propose?
Discuss it in UDL Connect 

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