About UDL

What is Universal Design for Learning?

Universal Design for Learning
is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.

UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.

Why is UDL necessary?

Individuals bring a huge variety of skills, needs, and interests to learning. Neuroscience reveals that these differences are as varied and unique as our DNA or fingerprints. Three primary brain networks come into play:

Universal Design for Learning

Recognition Networks

The "what" of learning
brain image with the recognition network highlighted in pink

How we gather facts and categorize what we see, hear, and read. Identifying letters, words, or an author's style are recognition tasks.

pink checkmark

Present information and content in different ways

More ways to provide
Multiple Means of Representation

Strategic Networks

The "how" of learning
brain image with the recognition network highlighted in pink

Planning and performing tasks. How we organize and express our ideas. Writing an essay or solving a math problem are strategic tasks.

blue checkmark

Differentiate the ways that students can express what they know

More ways to provide
Multiple Means of Action and Expression

Affective Networks

The "why" of learning
brain image with the recognition network highlighted in pink

How learners get engaged and stay motivated. How they are challenged, excited, or interested. These are affective dimensions.

green checkmark

Stimulate interest and motivation for learning

More ways to provide
Multiple Means of Engagement
Visit the National Center on UDL
National Center on Universal Design for Learning

Founded in 2009, the National Center on UDL supports the effective and widescale implementation of UDL by connecting stakeholders in the field and providing resources and information.

Teacher-Friendly UDL Tools
Examples and Resources

UDL videos, articles, presentations, and links
Resource Library


Go to the UDL Guidelines

Watch 'UDL at a Glance' on YouTube