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Counteracting Stigma and Stereotype-Threat with Universal Design for Learning

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Date:
Thursday, September 3, 2015

"Kids with learning disabilities need intensive instruction — no one is arguing against that. But what if the way we do it, the way that we design instruction and even special education, could be more mindful of the presence of stigma? ... UDL should be a big part of this conversation."

That's CAST Co-President Gabrielle Rappolt-Schlichtmann in a recent interview published by Usable Knowledge, an e-newsletter of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Photo of Gabrielle Rappolt-Schlichtmann

The interview focuses on CAST projects to address the damaging effects of stigma and stereotype threat on students with learning disabilities. Research shows that the stress caused by being labeled, or even just the fear of being labeled, significantly impacts the academic performance of students. Rappolt-Schlichtmann, along with Director of Research Samantha Daley, are leading teams at CAST that work to see if Universal Design for Learning can create less threatening learning environments for such students.

Read the complete interview