Image Map Skip to Main Content

Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Home

With a few minor adaptations, this Universal Design for Learning LibGuide is based on the one created by Sara Scribner, Library Faculty at Olympic College. Licensed under Creative Commons CC-BY-NC. Original libguide found at

What is UDL?

UDL (Universal Design for Learning) mirrors the universal design movement in architecture and product development, which calls for designs that serve the greatest number of possible users right from the start.

UDL is an educational approach with three primary principles : 

  • Multiple means of representation give diverse learners options for acquiring information and knowledge,
  • Multiple means of action and expression provide learners options for demonstrating what they know,
  • Multiple means of engagement tap into learners' interests, offer challenges, increase motivation

  • (Source:

 Click here to download the 35 page UDL Guidelines, version 2.0, with all the details

What UDL is not

Although it shares concepts and principles with them all, UDL is different from:

  • Assisted technology
  • Accomodation of disabilities
  • Learning styles
  • Multiples intelligences

UDL at a Glance Video

Universal Design for Learning is a teaching approach that can be used in any class. Simply put, it provides ways to help the student’s learning journey by developing a constant awareness that there are multiple means of perception, multiple ways to show understanding, and multiple ways to engage students.  Here is a 5-minute video explaining UDL.

3 minute UDL Video

UDL favors multiple means of expression.  Here's basic information expressed in video.

Why is UDL important?

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph. D. from the University of Washington describes the need for UDL this way:

"Precollege and college students come from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds. For some, English is not their first language. Also represented in most classes are students with a diversity of ages and learning styles, including visual and auditory. In addition, increasing numbers of students with disabilities are included in regular precollege and postsecondary courses. Their disabilities include blindness, low vision, hearing impairments, mobility impairments, learning disabilities, and health impairments.

Students are in school to learn and instructors share this goal. How can educators design instruction to maximize the learning of all students? The field of universal design (UD) can provide a starting point for developing a framework for instruction. You can apply this body of knowledge to create courses that ensure lectures, discussions, visual aids, videos, printed materials, labs, and fieldwork are accessible to all students."

For the whole report, Click.