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Career and Technical Education Bill Expands Access to Universal Design for Learning

Photo of the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (HR.2353), passed by the House and Senate and now headed to the President's desk for signature, expands access to Universal Design for Learning and gives states the potential to update training that overcomes learning barriers for all.  (The bill reauthorizes the 2006 Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to help more Americans enter the workforce with the skills necessary to compete for and succeed in high-skilled, in-demand careers.)

In support of the bill's final passage, Linda Gerstle, CAST Chief Executive Officer, issued the following statement:

“CAST is pleased that the Congress has agreed to important updates to the nation’s career and technical education law that can help states remove barriers to learning faced by individuals with learning differences. By including Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a framework pioneered at CAST that harnesses technology and instructional practices in digital as well as physical settings, Congress has assured that teacher professional development can successfully anticipate learner variability and provide alternative routes or paths to success for students.

"Powerful digital technologies applied using UDL principles enable easier and more effective customization of curricula for learners. Advances in technology and the learning sciences have made the individualization of curricula possible in practical, cost-effective ways, and many of these technologies have built-in supports, scaffolds, and challenges to help learners understand, navigate, and engage with the learning environment. The new career and technical education law makes creating access to these well-designed and cost-effective training systems a reality so that teachers can equip students for the high-tech careers of today’s workplace.”

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