CAST National Consortium on Universal Design for Learning News

An Electronic Newsletter

Issue Number 25: May, 2008

Greetings To All,

CAST has just released five new free tools to help teachers meet the challenge of individualizing instruction to meet the diverse needs of students in their classrooms. Let us know what you think about these tools.

Also new from CAST? Teachers, curriculum developers, and publishers seeking ways to make their curriculum more inclusive by building in flexibility and options can look to CAST's newly released Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Guidelines - Version 1 for help.

Grace Meo

Free Teacher Resources

Language Arts
UDL Editions by CAST (Ages 10 and up)
UDL Editions by CAST are classic texts from world literature presented in a flexible online interface that provides just-in-time, individualized supports for struggling readers, and added-value features that engage novice and expert readers alike.

Learning features include leveled supports to build reading strategies and help readers understand the elements of the author's craft; a Texthelp Toolbar for accessibility and language features; context-specific multimedia glossaries and enrichment activities; and multimedia background resources. Developed with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Introduced in partnership with Google Literacy Project for World Book Day, 2008.

CAST UDL Book Builder™ (Ages 3 and up)
Free online tool enables educators to develop their own digital books to support reading instruction for children aged 3 and up. Teachers create, edit, and save resource-rich texts. Terry, an animated character, guides educators as they write text, choose images, and develop scripts for the prompts, hints, and models that will help build young readers' skills. Developed with support from the Massachusetts Department of Special Education, NEC Foundation of America, The John W. Alden Trust, and The Pinkerton Foundation. Please send comments or suggestions to

Internet Research and Digital Literacy
CAST Strategy Tutor (Ages 10 and up)
Free online tool to support students and teachers doing reading and research on the Internet. Strategy Tutor helps students read, research, collect and understand information better and more efficiently. For teachers, Strategy Tutor provides a way to easily create web-based lessons embedded with research-based, highly effective learning strategy and vocabulary supports. Developed with generous support from Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Teacher Practice
CAST UDL Curriculum Self-Check
Free online tool that helps educators build options and flexibility into each element of the curriculum (goals, methods, materials, and assessments) in order to reach and engage all students. Developed with support from the Massachusetts Department of Special Education. Please send comments or suggestions to

CAST UDL Lesson Builder
Free online tool that teaches educators to customize standards-based curriculum to meet individual learning needs. Developed in cooperation with the Access Center (American Institutes for Research). Please send comments or suggestions to

CAST Releases UDL Guidelines Version 1.0 for Teachers, Publishers, and Curriculum Developers

UDL Guidelines
The UDL Guidelines will assist teachers, publishers, and others in designing flexible curricula that are more accessible, effective and engaging for ALL learners. They will also help educators evaluate both new and existing curricula goals, media and materials, methods and assessments.

Check out the UDL Guidelines Blog -- a forum for educators and other education stakeholders (parents, policy makers, etc.) to offer comments on how to improve the guidelines; share stories about applying the guidelines; and identify new examples and resources that support application of the UDL Guideline options.

Professional Development

Universal Design for Learning: Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Designing curriculum that addresses the diversity of today's classrooms
When: June 24 – 27, 2008 (Tuesday -Friday)
About: If you are an educator facing the multiple challenges of today's diverse classrooms, join us to learn about analyzing and designing lessons and units of study to improve learning outcomes for all students. The presenters will give you the experiences, tools, and understandings for designing lessons and units of study that meet the needs, interests, and knowledge of your students.
Register: Visit to register or call 781-245-2212, x273 or fax your registration form 781-245-5212.

Thank you for your interest in CAST and our work. It is our intention to send this newsletter to individuals who have requested to receive it. If you believe you are receiving this in error or wish to no longer receive it, you can unsubscribe by sending a message to with a subject of "unsubscribe consortium".

Please feel free to forward this email to colleagues who may be interested in this content.

Grace J. Meo
Director, Professional Development and Outreach Services