Breakout 3D

1:00 pm - 1:50 pm Central Time

Creating Accessibility and Inclusion in Higher Education

Madelyn Smith, shoulder length brown curly hair, smiling.

Madelyn Smith, M.A., Doctoral Student at University of Northern Colorado

Jenette L. Smith, Ed.D., DipACLM, M.S., Faculty at Clarkson College EDD Program

Miguel A. Perez, Ph.D., Faculty at Fresno State

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework in education that supports the diversity of learners.  The goal of UDL is to support all abilities, languages, cultures, and uses of technology in overcoming barriers, while focusing upon learning and educational content. The purpose of this session is to discuss the importance of UDL in higher education and to provide specific suggestions for its incorporation into existing curriculum. UDL is one way to embrace the intersectional framework as a means of critically evaluating current policy and practices.

Each of us is comprised of a multitude of identities and group memberships.  Identities can include, but are not limited to one’s race or ethnicity, gender identity, profession, socioeconomic status, faith or religion, sexual orientation, native language and additional languages, and whether one has a disability.  These various and unique identities and group memberships shape the ways in which we experience our worlds and how we are perceived by others. 

Higher education does not always take into account or incorporate intersectionality into the curriculum, placing individuals at a disadvantage, which may include dropping out of school.  In this session the presenters will utilize a discussion format, including Zoom polls, to explore the concept of UDL to address the needs of diverse students. 

By the end of the session, participants will have clear understanding of UDL principles, including the need to be inclusive in the classroom, to presume competence, to understand the need to provide closed captioning and how to do it, and to explore the need to provide multiple means/modalities to a lecture.  Participants will walk away with a toolbox of materials to get started on the road to UDL.

Madelyn Smith, M.A., is a doctoral candidate in special education with the University of Northern Colorado.  Madelyn proudly serves as a writer, researcher, advocate, and educator to promote equitable, inclusive practices in schools and communities.

Jenette L. Smith, Ed.D., DipACLM, M.S. began a faculty position in 2021 with Clarkson College in the EDD program, Doctor in Health Care Education and Leadership.  In addition, Dr. Smith serves as an educator, ally, and advocate for individuals with disabilities, their families, and their caregivers.

Miguel A. Perez, Ph.D., is a faculty member at Fresno State.  His work focuses on cultural and linguistic competence and global health issues. He proudly serves as a mentor, advocate, and researcher promoting inclusivity in higher education.

Presentation Information & Materials

  • Presentation Materials