What is Universal Design?
Universal design is an approach to designing environments and products so that the greatest number of people can use them without the need for adapting. When used in early childhood settings, universal design applies to planning the curriculum, teaching practices and materials in the same way so that the widest range of learners can participate.
- The California Early Childhood Educator Competencies: Special needs and inclusion- 12 minute video. — Published on May 1, 2014. This video addresses “Philosophy, Policies, and Practices,” “Developmentally and Individually Appropriate Practice,” “Collaboration with Families and Service Providers,” “Environmental Access, Universal Design and Adaptive Equipment.” Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Lc9zJcfsnE
- Questions to Consider in UDL Observations of Early Childhood Environments (PDF) (2007) – Northhampton Community College and Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council.
- GROWING IDEAS Increase Access: Universal Design in Early Care & Education (PDF) (2014) developed by the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS).
- LEARNING IDEAS Universal Design in Pre-K and Early Elementary Classrooms (PDF) (2014) developed by the Maine CITE Coordinating Center, University College and the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies.
- NAEYC Beyond the Journal article: The Universal Design of Early Education: Moving Forward for All Children (PDF) (2006).
- NAEYC Teaching Young Children (June/July 2011) photo essay, Take a look! Visual supports for learning. (PDF) . Authors Blagojevic, Logue, Bennett-Armistead, Taylor and Neal define visual supports and show how they help all children to understand rules and expectations, engage in daily routines, navigate transitions, communicate thoughts, feelings and needs, and increase independence in child care routines and activities. NAEYC is the largest professional membership association for early childhood educators.
- NAEYC Technology and Young Children: Selected Examples of Effective Classroom Practice Involving Technology Tools and Interactive Media (PDF). – This resource includes information about technology tools and interactive media for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children, including assistive technology resources for children with disabilities. Available online at https://www.naeyc.org/sites/default/files/globally-shared/downloads/PDFs/resources/topics/PS_technology_Examples.pdf
- CAST UDL Book Builder – this site has resources to help you create, share, publish and read digital books that engage and support diverse learners according to their individual needs, interests and skills.