Developed by: Suzanne M. Robinson, Ph.D., University of Kansas UDL is a means of instructional planning that takes into account differences in student learning profiles and skills, prior knowledge, and preferences through creating multiple pathways by which students can access information, engage in learning and remember information, and demonstrate what they know.

Universal Design for Learning


  • Reading Acquisition

    Developed by: Sharon E. Green, Ph.D., Emporia State University Reading Acquisition involves the three stages of learning to read. The emergent reader is just beginning the reading journey. Second, the beginning reader has mastered the pre-reading skills necessary to begin the reading process. The last stage is the early instructional reader who is one who has made the transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn".

  • Reading Comprehension

    Developed by: Keith Lenz, Ph.D., University of Kansas Reading comprehension is the process of constructing meaning from text. The goal of all reading instruction is ultimately targeted at helping a reader comprehend text. Reading comprehension involves at least two people: the reader and the writer. The process of comprehending involves decoding the writer’s words and then using background knowledge to construct an approximate understanding of the writer’s message.

  • Writing

    Developed by Gary Troia, Ph.D, University of Washington There are several reasons why so many children and youth appear to find writing challenging, which reflect the nature of written expression, changing student demographics, instruction, and individual student characteristics. Composing text is a complex and difficult undertaking that requires the deployment and coordination of multiple affective, cognitive, linguistic, and physical operations to accomplish goals associated with genre-specific conventions, audience needs, and an author’s communicative purposes.

  • Mathematics

    Developed by: David Allsopp, Ph.D., University of South Florida Teaching mathematics to students with special needs can be an exciting and rewarding experience for both teachers and students. Many innovative practices are emerging that are making the learning of mathematics both enjoyable and meaningful for students.

Providing Access to the General Education Curriculum

  • Strategies for Accessing the Social Studies Curriculum

    Developed by John Seevers It is important that social studies teachers learn to teach social studies standards to both special needs and general learners. However, there is no single technique, approach or strategy that will accomplish this because of the complex nature of the social studies curriculum. There are tools that teachers can use to enhance the curriculum and their teaching to improve the learning of all students.

    Powerful Approaches

    • Classwide Peer Tutoring

      Developed by: Barbara Terry, Ph.D., University of Kansas CWPT is a comprehensive instructional procedure or teaching strategy based on reciprocal peer tutoring and group reinforcement wherein an entire classroom of students is actively engaged in the process of learning and practicing basic academic skills simultaneously in a systematic and fun way.

    • Direct Instruction

      Developed by: Nancy E. Marchand-Martella, Ph.D., Eastern Washington University Direct Instruction is a system of teaching that focuses on controlling all the variables that affect the performance of students. This module contains Direct Instruction programs that address reading, language, writing, spelling, and mathematics.

    • Cognitive Strategies

      Developed by: LuAnn Jordan, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Cognitive Strategies are useful tools in assisting students with learning problems. Cognitive Strategies provide a structure for learning when a task cannot be completed through a series of steps. Attention to the steps results in successful completion of the problem.


    • Instructional Accommodations

      Developed by: Sandra J. Thompson, Ph.D., Research Associate, National Center on Educational Outcomes, University of Minnesota One of the ways to increase student access to academic content standards through instruction in the general curriculum is by using instructional accommodations. Accommodations are changes in the way a student accesses learning, without changing the actual standards a student is working toward. Using accommodations can be complicated - the goal is to find a balance that gives students equal access to learning without "watering down" the content.