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Universal Design in Education - Applying the Seven Principles

The seven principles of product and environmental universal design (from The Center for Universal Design, North Carolina State University) are applied to education on this printable "CATS Fact Sheet". Please note that wording is adjusted to the education realm.

"In these terms, universal design means the development of curriculum, instructional materials and instruction to be accessible to and useable by students with different backgrounds and abilities. The key aspect of a universally designed curriculum is its in-built flexibility."

CATS (Creating Accessible Teaching & Support) is hosted by the University of Tasmania, and was funded by the Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment, & Workplace Relations and the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.

Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment, & Workplace Relations and the Australian Learning and Teaching Council

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It took me several years of struggling with the heavy door to my building, sometimes having to wait until a person stronger came along, to realize that the door was an accessibility problem, not only for me, but for others as well. And I did not notice, until one of my students pointed it out, that the lack of signs that could be read from a distance at my university forced people with mobility impairments to expend a lot of energy unnecessarily, searching for rooms and offices. Although I have encountered this difficulty myself on days when walking was exhausting to me, I interpreted it, automatically, as a problem arising from my illness (as I did with the door), rather than as a problem arising from the built environment having been created for too narrow a range of people and situations.

Susan Wendell, author of
The Rejected Body: Feminist Philosophical Reflections on Disability