Universal Design: Products/Environments vs. Learning

A table comparing Universal Design in products and facilities with Universal Design in curriculum.
Grades:
K |
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Updated on: November 17, 2000

Universal Design: Products/Environments vs. Learning

Design for Accessto Product/Environment

Design for Access toCurriculum
(Universal Design for Learning)

Means ofAccess/Engagement

Means ofAccess/Engagement

Product or environment mustbe usable by all people (to the greatest extent possible) without needfor additional adaptation; e.g., curb cuts provide access to those inwheelchairsand all other pedestrians. Curriculum must be usableby all students (disabled and non-disabled) without need for additionaladaptations ("add-ons") by teacher; e.g., electronic encyclopedia offersvisual and auditory supports, differing levels of detailed information,cross-referencing.

Use

Use

User controls all access,needs little or no help from others to use; design of product/ environmentenables self-sufficiency and independence. Student controls means ofaccess but teacher monitors progress and may activate certain features;curriculum design enables student's self-sufficiency, but teacher remainsactive in teaching, facilitating, and assessing student's work.

Challenge

Challenge

Minimized, if not eliminated.Barriers to access are brokendown as much as possible. The best designs provide the easiest and broadestaccess. Some cognitive challengemust remain. Barriers to access are broken down but right kinds and amountsof challenge must remain so that each student must push him- or herself.If access is too easy,no learning will take place.

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