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UDL Masterclass - What now? Synthesising strategic tips for the next decade of UDL development

UDL Masterclass (in person) – ‘Beyond Curiosity: Developing a sustainable roadmap for UDL implementation within your organisation’ is facilitated by international inclusive education expert Fredric Fovet. 

There has been considerable interest in UDL across higher education in North America over the last decade and numerous initiatives around its implementation in teaching and learning have begun.  Momentum is growing and this energy is now palpable in the Australian post-secondary sector as well. While both implementation in the field and scholarship on pedagogical benefits of UDL have grown significantly in the last few years, the focus of the literature remains on convincing accessibility service providers, faculty, and senior administrators of the beneficial impact of UDL on inclusive classroom practices.  There has been little attention paid, however, to the organizational challenges of planning, leading, monitoring, and completing a successful process of UDL adoption across complex and multi-layered higher education institutions.

This masterclass on the process of UDL implementation across post-secondary campuses considered the next frontier: creating sustainable strategic practices that guarantee successful and durable adoption within the varied ecological landscapes that these organisations represent. The masterclass supported participants in (i) considering possible organisational hurdles to this process of implementation, (ii) brainstorming on possible sustainable practices that can support this campus-wide adoption process, and (iii) developing a discourse and a framework that can be shared with colleagues and administration, and can be integrated in mission statements and vision exercises.

The masterclass was fully interactive and sought to model the UDL principles within the design and roll-out of the session itself, explicitly addressing a contradiction that too often plagues professional development on UDL and reduces its impact. UDL is not just about the classroom but must also shape and structure all our PD and interactions among Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training colleagues.

UDL Masterclass (hybrid) - What now? Synthesizing strategic tips for the next decade of UDL development

The afternoon session built on the discussions that took place in the masterclass. It sought to not only synthesise, but also conceptualise, the main axes of reflection that emerged from the morning session around strategic and sustainable adoption of UDL across campuses. It supported participants that attended the masterclass in the morning in (i) framing their own plan of action, (ii) contextualising it to their institutional landscape within Australia, and (iii) setting actionable objectives and identifying potential areas of remaining tension that must be monitored.



Frederic is an Inclusion and Universal Design for Learning scholar and advocate. He is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at Thompson Rovers University.  He has previously held faculty positions, in turn,  the Faculty of Education at the University of Prince Edward Island and in the School of Education and Technology at Royal Roads University. He also held the position of Director of the Office for Students with Disabilities at McGill for four years over the duration of his PhD.  He acts as a consultant, domestically and internationally, both in the K-12 and post-secondary sectors, in relation to the integration of UDL and to management of change in the context of inclusive pedagogy.

Initially, Frederic’s research and practice focused on the inclusion of students with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD), and have later broadened to encompass all aspects of learner diversity and inclusion.  His work as head of accessibility at McGill University has enabled him to integrate Disability Studies into his perspective on inclusion and this scholarship now richly informs his work.  He is also deeply committed to the implementation of critical pedagogy which represents an important lens on his practice.  Frederic has a background in Law and has qualified as a solicitor in the UK; legal perspectives on inclusion and legal frameworks around social justice therefore also represent a sizeable part of his scholarship. 

While head of accessibility at McGill University, Frederic led a wide cross-campus drive for the implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). This continues to be a central part of his scholarship and advocacy work. He was the instigator and program chair of the first three Pan-Canadian Conferences on UDL, which took place in Montreal, Charlottetown and Victoria in 2015, 2017 and 2019 respectively.  He sits on the editorial board of Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, the International Journal of Disability and Social Justice (IJDSJ) and on the advisory board of the European Journal of Inclusive Education (EJIE).  He was awarded by the Ireland Canada University Foundation a 2021 D’Arcy McGee Beacon Fellowship, hosted by Trinity College Dublin. 

ADCET, the NDCO Program, and Monash University are proud sponsors of this event.