A Brief Resource List on Universal Design


Online Publications on Universal Design


Higbee, J.L. (ed.) (2003). Curriculum transformation and disability: Implementing universal design in higher education. Retrieved August 5, 2003, from



Highly Recommended

This is an online book, also available in print, that describes the experiences of participants in a project at the University of Minnesota. Each chapter is a different perspective on universal design, from its theoretical base to how it is applicable to community colleges, residential life, counseling centers, learning communities, and multicultural education.  



Rose, D. H. & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the digital age: Universal design for learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.   Retrieved on August 27, 2005, from http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes/


Highly Recommended

This online book, originally published in print by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, gives the reader various ways to experience universal design for learning (UDL) while they are reading the book. Each chapter offers detailed information on theory and practice with universal design for learning. In addition, the reader can access a glossary of terms, a summary of the chapter, a concept map of the chapter’s main ideas, and can take online notes for each chapter. The CAST website offers excellent resources on UDL in addition to this book.


Other Online Resources


Universal Design Information from the Institute for Human-Centered Design



This site offers a variety of information, including how universal design applies to the built environment. Links include calls for papers and notices of conferences focusing on universal design and visitability.


UPSIDE - Springfield Technical Community College



A site that contains nice resources on the application of universal design for learning in the community college classroom. The site includes video clips of interviews with faculty about how they have implemented universal design in their classrooms.


Equal Access: Universal Design in Advising



A checklist for the universal design of advising services, this document provides Advising services are an important aspect of most students' educational experiences. There are many different kinds of advisors—faculty advisors, advisors in a specific academic department, general advisors—and they should all be aware of unique issues of people with disabilities and other groups so that they can communicate effectively and provide sound advice as students plan their studies. Easy to understand recommendations for how to recognize the needs of students with diverse needs in advising. 


Universal Design of Distance Learning



An online article by Sheryl Burgstahler of the DOIT Center at the University of Washington provides an overview of accessibility and universal design in online environments.


Ten Steps Toward Universal Design of Online Courses



A very accessible (no pun intended) list of “how to’s” for making online courses accessible and universally-designed. Easy to read and apply tips are an excellent starter for the design of online courses or online supports for face-to-face classes.


World Wide Access: Accessible Web Design



This video presentation shows how to make web pages accessible to people with disabilities. It is particularly useful for self-instruction or group training for people who design and support websites and/or teach web design classes. The accompanying publication provides details and resources on this topic. The presentation is open-captioned and audio-described to assure access to the content for viewers who are deaf or blind, respectively (Runtime: ~10:35 minutes).


Universal Design Tips from Blackboard



“Who benefits from Universal Design for Learning?

  • Students with and without disabilities
  • Students with varying access to technology
  • Students with English as a second, third, or fourth language
  • Students with crazy schedules
  • Students with different learning preferences
  • Faculty who want a large number of their students to gain enduring understanding
  • Faculty whose teaching style is inconsistent with the student's preferred learning style”

A concise list of recommendations for making online courses accessible and universally-designed. Gives some specific recommendations for using Blackboard accessibility tools.


For the more technically inclined...

WebAIM Section 508 Accessibility Checklist



WebAIM WCAG 2.0 Accessibility Checklist



University of Connecticut’s Faculty Ware



This site offers resources collected by the Universal Design for Instruction Project from the Center for Postsecondary Education and Disability (CPED) at the University of Connecticut. Each of the resources available on this site is designed to demonstrate the application of universal design of instruction (UDI) principles within the college classroom.


University of Washington's Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DOIT) Center



this site offers excellent resources on universal design in many post-secondary contexts, including classrooms, e-learning, STEM programs, student services, and more. Training materials are available, including PowerPoint presentations and videos.


Access-ed Project



Information on universal design in education, an approach to systemic considerations for diverse individuals in higher education. Includes links to many sites and resources on universal design, as well as the description of aninnovative program which establishes a Departmental Accessibility Resource Coordinator (DARC) within programs or institutions to serve as universal design consultants. 


Web Accessibility for All



An excellent resource for a variety of universal design materials, including online resources and publications. There is a great deal of information on universal design and accessibility in the Internet environment, including the Aquatic Arts Learn by Example Web site, which contains the most prevalent problems that commonly inhibit access. The site contains examples of both inaccessible and accessible pages, along with specific explanations of the problems themselves.


Tools for Introducing Human-Centered Design



This site offers a variety of resources that can be downloaded and used for training on universal design. Focused primarily the physical environment, there are PowerPoint’s and documents that provide overviews of essential principles of universal design. Resources include checklists to assure the universal design of specific aspects of facilities.