Photo of a student with Down Syndrome working on a laptop with an adult beside them. Center on Inclusive Technology & Education Systems logo.

Considerations for expanding inclusive technology for teaching and learning in K-12 technology systems are rooted in a vision for equitable education. The two previous articles in this three-part series explored educational and assistive technologies as core components of equity. This final article spotlights a district’s leadership role in implementing inclusive technology systems that promote equity in education.

In his opening remarks at the U.S. Department of Education’s Educational Equity Summit, Secretary Miguel Cardona noted that equity work is a “continuous effort.” As the U.S. …

Center on Inclusive Technology & Education Systems logo, girl with Down syndrome smiling and holding a tablet device

The first in our three-part series, “Five Things EdTech Leaders Need to Know About Inclusive Technology Systems,” described how sometimes assistive technologies (AT) become ubiquitous technologies — tools for learning, living and working. So what do AT professionals need to know about working in an inclusive technology ecosystem?

Young blind person with headset using computer with assistive device discussing with an adult

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted inequities in our education system, especially regarding technology. Districts have witnessed certain students not being able to access and use technologies or applications because of accessibility or operability challenges. Even districts that focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion continue to ponder the “how” of building inclusive technology ecosystems that allow all learners to thrive.

In recent years, educators have seen the benefits of accessible, inclusive, and integrated technology systems for all learners, including those with disabilities. Students with disabilities often require technology to be active, participative learners to acquire the same information, engage in the…

A child using a tablet
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Back to school is an exciting time of year. Students reunite with the friends they have not seen over the summer, meet a new teacher, and adjust to life in a new classroom. This year may be a little different. For many, school will start with remote or hybrid learning, where most of the learning may take place online. …

National Center on Accessible Educational Materials logo surrounded by various symbols representing accessible practices

On this Global Accessibility Awareness Day, the continuing COVID-19 crisis highlights the importance of accessible educational materials and technologies for ensuring equitable educational opportunities for all learners. To help educators, parents, and families navigate this difficult time, the AEM Center at CAST created several new resources we invite you to check out:

A young child with Down syndrome holding up their painted palm to show five painted fingers
Do you have five minutes? Use them to collaborate! Denis Kuvaev /

The vision of inclusive education for every student is one that many educators strive for, whether in a classroom, informal learning space, online learning, or emergency remote learning. However, there can be serious barriers to achieving this goal:

  • Time is limited to plan lessons and to shift infrastructural planning systems.
  • There are many low-cost or free resources available, however they are often presented in a “one-size-fits-all” way that do not fully include all learners.
  • Collaboration with colleagues can be really challenging to schedule, whether there are constraints during the busy school day or you’re working in different locations.

It is…

September 18, 2019
Host: Kimberly Coy

A person examining charts and graphs on a tablet
Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

Universal Design for Learning is often thought of as a framework only for classroom teachers or professors. But what about UDL in the workplace? We learn all the time in our workplaces, through training, learning new strategies, new technologies, and when we change careers. All of those learning experiences can benefit from a more inclusive and goal-oriented framework for planning and designing the learning that happens in a workplace.

Here were our questions to prompt our thinking:

  • Q1: Can you point to an example of where you may have seen UDL outside of education?

September 4, 2019
Host: Barb Gentille Green

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

The beginning of a school year, semester, or new learning event offers a great opportunity to reflect on your routines and practices around Universal Design for Learning. It’s an opportunity to design for success — for you and for your learners.

Here were the questions we explored to help us think about designing for success:

  • Q1: How can we design the learning environment, establish routines and expectations at the beginning of the year to foster collaboration?
  • Q2: How can we design the learning environment, establish routines and expectations at the beginning of the…

August 21, 2019
Co-hosts: Ron Rogers & Alexis Reid

A student and an educator working together in front of a computer
Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash

With all the content and subject matter educators are responsible for teaching, it’s sometimes easy to forget the emotional barriers that can prevent our learners from reaching our learning goals. This conversation was all about how to mitigate some of these barriers through awareness and strategies around our learners’ needs.

Our thoughtful questions for the chat were:

  • Q1: How do you establish a culture of caring, compassionate, and respectful learning?
  • Q2: As an adult learner, what are some of the triggers (things that set off a strong emotional response) or barriers…

August 7, 2019
Host: Joni Degner

The back of a school bus on a sunny day
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

It’s back to school time in the U.S. and other parts of the world! What are some ways to get ready with Universal Design for Learning?

Our questions focused on our summer learning and plans for the new year:

  • Q1. What is the best professional learning you’ve gotten this summer?
  • Q2. What is one new thing you plan to do with your learners this year?
  • Q3. What UDL Guidelines do you go to to help you create a welcoming learning environment on the first day?
  • Q4. Fill in the blanks: This year, I hope…

UDL Center

The National Center on Universal Design for Learning at…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store