Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Overview

The term Universal Design for Learning (UDL) means a scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice that:

  1. provides flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways students are engaged; and
  2. reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports, and challenges, and maintains high achievement expectations for all students, including students with disabilities and students who are English language learners.

UDL Projects on Campus


Accessibility by Design Initiative

Project Summary

The primary goal of this initiative is to ensure equitable access to digital learning opportunities across PSU by developing and implementing a plan that will build accessibility into all courses that use digital resources as a significant part of the learning plan. A high priority will be placed on fully online degree and certificate programs.

Project Goals

  • Provide a comprehensive plan or "roadmap" for successfully converting all existing courses that use digital resources as a significant part of the learning plan to WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards.
  • Build accessibility into all courses that use digital resources as a significant part of the learning plan.
  • Address gaps in University policy that present a risk to the success of the Accessibility by Design portfolio, as well as the long-term sustainability of online course accessibility.

For more information regarding the Office of Academic Innovation's Accessibility by Design Initiative, please refer to OAI's Accessibility web page.


Think College Inclusion Oregon (TCIO)

TCIO Mission Statement

Our mission is to establish a fully inclusive college experience for students with intellectual disabilities (ID) with the expectation that matriculated students will have access and opportunity to the same services, programs and courses as other PSU students. Each student's college experience will be individually designed to support inclusive academic and career experiences leading to meaningful, integrated employment and self determination. At the completion of this 4-year college experience, students will have the option to earn the College to Career Certificate or a baccalaureate academic degree.

To request more information on the TCIO project, please fill out the TCIO Interest Form on Portland State's Special Education (SPED) website.


Universal Design Lab (uLab)

The Universal Design Lab at Portland State University uses human centered design to make important parts of life more accessible. At the core, our work centers on accessibility, specifically in the areas of:

  1. Augmentative and Alternative Communication,
  2. Assistive Technology, and
  3. Universal Design for Learning.

We believe that research and development can bring new, useful technologies and practices into existence that can make terrific differences in the lives of people with disabilities. Through rigorous research we can validate the tools and practices we use so that we as a community can know the way, go the way, and show the way. Our work is driven by close partnerships and service work in the community. Innovative technologies hold so much promise and are most useful when thoughtfully combined with high quality intervention methods or “good teaching”. The Universal Design Lab is focused on combining good teaching and technology through a theory driven implementation approach.

For more information regarding Portland State's Universal Design Lab (uLab), please refer to the Universal Design Lab website.

UDL Resources