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CAST, UDL-IRN Announce Merger

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Saturday, March 30, 2019

CAST and the UDL Implementation and Research Network (UDL-IRN) today announced the merger of the two organizations, creating the global leader for the fast-growing field of Universal Design for Learning.

The merger is effective today, and the organizations will combine business operations in the coming year. The combined company will operate under the CAST name, with the UDL-IRN remaining a distinctive brand on its ongoing projects and initiatives for the foreseeable future.

“CAST is thrilled to welcome the UDL-IRN into partnership with CAST. The two organizations share a vision around UDL, and today we recognize that together we can have a greater impact than what either organization can do separately,” says CAST Chief Executive Officer Linda Gerstle. “Our mutual aspirations towards creating a level playing field where all learners have equitable opportunities to succeed are driving this decision. Being able to bring our respective strengths together, as well as accelerating efficiencies and innovations will support a future demanded by the field.”

James Basham, Ph.D., Cofounder of the UDL-IRN, concurs: “We are excited to partner with CAST. Both CAST and the UDL-IRN believe there is a need for a unifying voice across the growing field—a voice that is vested in the continued growth of UDL research, development, and implementation. We believe the future needs of the field are best accomplished by blending our efforts.”

Basham, an associate professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas, will retain his faculty appointment at KU and also become Senior Director of Learning & Innovation at CAST.

About CAST
Founded in 1984, CAST is a nonprofit whose mission is to transform education design and practice "until learning has no limits." Winner of the Smithsonian Innovation in Education Award and many other honors, CAST conducts research and development, provides technical assistance and professional development, and publishes exceptional media for the education market. CAST authored the widely-used Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework and the UDL Guidelines.

About the UDL-IRN
Founded in 2010, the Universal Design for Learning Implementation and Research Network (UDL-IRN) supports the scaled implementation of and research related to Universal Design for Learning. Through collaboration, the UDL-IRN supports and promotes the identification and development of models, tools, research, and practices designed to foster effective UDL implementation in educational environments. Learn more at

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