School Librarians as Equity Warriors

Librarians Journal front coverValerie Hunsinger is a school librarian. Her article is a thoughtful piece about equity in terms of access to knowledge and information, particularly in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Some children have never been to a bookstore or bought a book, so the library is a very important part of their overall education. In talking about another librarian introducing UD she writes: “Everything from the layout and furniture to the shelves and technology was adapted to fit all learners. For a student born with shortened limbs, she found funding to buy a specialized wireless computer mouse, and her library’s flexible floor plan allowed this adaptive tool to be easily accommodated. Another student arrived with a back injury, and Aponte found funding to purchase a special chair. For students who have difficulties turning pages, Aponte purchased special board books that allow them to experience the feeling of reading. She truly shows how libraries can serve all learners.”



Creating alternative formats

This video from the Universal Design Centre California State University explains the importance of providing multiple means of representation – documents and information in alternative formats.  The video is an example of universal design itself, and is something we should all strive for in our communications and documentation every time.


Checklist for written material and oral presentations

Queensland government poster with logoThe Queensland Department of Vocational Education and Training has produced a useful checklist for anyone producing written materials or making presentations. The checklist covers all points that should be considered by everyone regardless of whether it is a casual talk with a small group, a flyer to promote an event, a lecture and learning materials for students, or a major conference presentation.

Universal Design Checklist Word      Universal Design Checklist PDF


It’s not just a book club:

A novel approach to prepare researchers for practice

This article from the University of Calgary is targeted to the research community, particularly those involved in interdisciplinary research, and uses the principles of universal design for learning as a means of bridging the misunderstandings that can occur in interdisciplinary research.  Their conclusions are:

“Our purpose for using a book club approach was to develop our proficiency in the use of UDL, given the diversity of our knowledge and experience with this framework. Throughout the book club experience, we were able to present our perspectives, negotiate ideas, and resolve misconceptions that enabled us to have a greater common understanding of UDL. The book club was a starting point for our collaborative team, which quickly evolved into a community of practice. The initial building of self-efficacy as individuals strengthened the outcomes of the collaborative interactions during the scholarly book club discussions. Continue reading It’s not just a book club:


Universal design, e-books and learning

Entangled With Books: Two Moments In the Evolution of Accessibility and the Notion of Universal Design

This thesis from Canada is written by Shawn Graham who has muscular dystrophy.  He tracks some of the history of the written word and compares old technologies with new technology, and discusses how progress allows students with disabilities to undertake post-secondary school education. It is a little wordy but the message is clear that the latest technology, such as Notational Velocity, make study possible and that improvements will continue.

Download the PDF here


Supporting Learner Diversity with UD for Learning

Picture of the front page showing a boy with a tabletThis is a curriculum guide for using the interactive website for UDL.

The purpose of the website is to create an interactive learning environment for elementary educators to support their professional development, as they increase their understanding of both Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles combined with appropriate technology usage. This interactive “teacher’s toolbox” has been designed as a functional and practical website containing examples of excellent existing UDL lessons and interactivities along with embedded and ever-changing spaces for educators to place their own successful lesson plans and interactivities that they develop.

Got to the online Guide