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UDL Symposium: 1F. How to Talk with Your Colleagues about Universal Design for Learning

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Interactive workshop

As instructors and support professionals, we should advocate for our colleagues around us to design their interactions with students to be as broadly accessible and inclusive as possible, in order to foster greater student agency, autonomy, and satisfaction. In the process, our collective work to support learners in addressing access barriers can shift to focus more energy on more challenging concerns.

This advocacy starts with grassroots champions who can help colleagues with practical advice, as well as lobby campus leaders for funds, resources, and time toward inclusive-design efforts. This webinar shared concrete strategies for how to approach colleagues in productive ways to talk about universal design for learning (UDL) in their own work. It also explored how to talk with your campus leaders to get them to see the positive impact of UDL on campus operations (and on the budget), especially during times of disruption. By watching this webinar session, it is hoped you will be able to:

  • frame the principles of UDL within the access needs of all students at your institution
  • talk with your leadership colleagues about specific campus-wide efforts that lower barriers, reduce costs, and increase student persistence and retention rates
  • advocate for inclusive design efforts from your teaching and support-staff colleagues that increase student agency, autonomy, and satisfaction.


Dr Thomas J. Tobin helped found the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Teaching, Learning, & Mentoring, and he is an internationally recognised scholar, author, and speaker on technology-mediated education - especially copyright, evaluation of teaching practices, academic integrity, and accessibility/universal design for learning.

He holds a master’s and Ph.D. in English literature, an information science master’s, and certifications in project management (PMP), online teaching (MOT), Quality Matters (QM), accessibility (CPACC), and academic leadership (Penn State ALA).

Named to Ed Tech Magazine’s 2020 Educational Technology Influencers “Dean’s List”, honored with the 2022 Wagner Award for Outstanding Leadership in Distance Learning Administration, and named by Eduflow in 2023 as one of the world’s Top 100 Learning Influencers, Tom serves on the editorial boards of InSight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching, Advances in Online Education, and the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration.

(September 2023)