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UDL Symposium: Keynote. How applying a UDL framework can lead to tertiary education that is accessible and inclusive

ADCET was honoured to have Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler as a keynote speaker for our inaugural UDL Symposium. Sheryl has been a pioneer in Universal Design for Learning and, in this presentation, she spoke about how applying a UDL framework could lead to tertiary education that was accessible and inclusive.

You can also learn about how UDL combined with UD principles for physical and technological spaces can be used as a foundation to underpin the design of all aspects of instruction and support services. Sheryl also explored examples in tertiary education and provided resources for further study.


Head shot of Sheryl wearing a dark pink jacket

Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler, University of Washington, founded and directs Accessible Technology Services—which includes the DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center and the ITAccessibility Team (ITAT)—at the University of Washington (UW). These dynamic groups promote (1) the development of self-determination skills, use of mainstream and assistive technology, and other interventions to support the success of students with disabilities in postsecondary education and careers and (2) the universal design (UD) of learning opportunities; facilities; websites, media, documents and other IT; and services to ensure that they are accessible to, usable by, and inclusive of individuals with disabilities. ITAT focuses its efforts at the University of Washington; the DO-IT Center reaches national and international audiences with the support of federal, state, corporate, foundation, and private funds. 

Dr. Burgstahler is also an affiliate professor in the UW College of Education and Disability Studies program at the UW and in the Disability Studies and Services programs at City University of New York, where she teaches online. Many of her teaching and research focus on the successful transition of students with disabilities to postsecondary studies and careers and on the application of UD to technology, teaching and learning activities, physical spaces, and student services; the incorporation of UD topics in mainstream curriculum; and the adoption of a UD Framework to inform all practices in higher education within an Inclusive Campus Model. The DO-IT Center’s currently funded collaborative projects include Access ADVANCE, AccessComputing, AccessCSforAll,  DO-IT Scholars, and Neuroscience for Neurodiverse Learners.

(September 2023)