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CAST Announces Advisory Board for UDL Rising to Equity

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

CAST is excited to announce the launch of the UDL Rising to Equity Advisory Board.

The Advisory Board will guide and inform the process of reenvisioning CAST’s UDL Guidelines through an equity lens. The Board is comprised of external scholars and practitioners whose work focuses on equity through a variety of perspectives related to race, class, language, disability, and gender. 

The goals of the Advisory Board include:

  • Guiding and informing CAST’s process to update the UDL Guidelines to address systemic barriers that create inequitable learning opportunities and result in inequitable outcomes.
  • Bringing together expertise and perspectives needed to design learning environments where all learners are visible, welcomed, and empowered.
Photo of Chrissie Butler

Chrissie Butler is a UDL and inclusive design specialist and content developer based in Aotearoa New Zealand. For the last 10 years Chrissie has been part of a small team at CORE Education immersed in exploring and developing a people-first expression of UDL embedded in the country's unique cultural context and explicitly committed to equity. In  2021, Chrissie took up a new role as a Principal Adviser in the New Zealand Ministry of Education national office with a focus on UDL, inclusive design, and accessibility. Chrissie also has her own consultancy.

Photo of Guillermo Chavez

Guillermo Chavez, an educator since 1990, has served California Public Schools as a teacher and principal at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.  His passion is cultural equity and the celebration of California's  diverse populations.  Guillermo has been the principal at Cathedral City High School in the Palm Springs Unified School District since 2005. He is also a Professor of Education at UMass Global.

Photo of Rafranz Davis

Rafranz Davis has dedicated her career to empowering students and teachers to share their voices throughout their communities and the world. She uses her platform across the EdTech ecosystem to advocate for STEM and creative learning while simultaneously challenging communities through the lens of digital equity and diversity. A former public school administrator, Rafranz is the author of The Missing Voices in EdTech (Corwin, 2015).  She now utilizes her extensive experience to support the work of school districts in amplifying student voice and choice through real world experiences centered on STEM accessibility.

Photo of Lizzie Fortin

Lizzie Fortin (they/she) is a high school instructional coach, visual art educator, and visual artist whose work centers student relationships, antiracist pedagogy, and equitable access and outcomes using Universal Design for Learning. Their recent transition into instructional coaching has pushed them to transform their pedagogical work for adults. Their current visual artwork is contextualizing history through the use of timelines, text, and primary source images in order to make visual connections to what is currently happening in the world. They enjoy co-creating spaces to encourage dialogue around books, race, and education. Lizzie has presented and facilitated locally, nationally, and internationally on visual art, UDL, and equity. Most recently, Lizzie was the opening keynote conversation at the 2020 CAST UDL Symposium "UDL Rising." Lizzie is part of the Liberate and Chill Collective, an MIT Equity Fellow, and a Bright Morning Ambassador.

Photo of Josh Josa

Josh Josa is the Disability Inclusive Education specialist at the Bureau for Development, Democracy and Innovation's Center for Education, USAID's primary technical assistance center. Currently, he is the Agreement  and Contract Officer Representative (AOR/COR) of USAID's Leading through Learning Global Platform and its All Children Reading project. He also works with USAID's Education Sector to ensure equity and inclusion in education programming as well as the inclusion of people with disabilities throughout USAID programming efforts. He is a graduate of Gallaudet University's International Development master's program and is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having served in Kenya from 2010 to 2012.

Photo of Jennifer Levine

As CAST's Director of Professional Learning, Jennifer Levine oversees the design and delivery of products and services related to the implementation of Universal Design for Learning in schools, districts, and states. Jennifer is passionate about teaching students in the margins and sees her role at CAST as an opportunity to support systemic changes to support these students. Before joining CAST in 2016, Jennifer spent more than 20 years working in urban education as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. Her positive experiences with UDL in the classroom led her to her current position.

Photo of Erica McCray

Dr. Erica D. McCray is an Associate Professor of Special Education and Director of the School of Special Education, School Psychology, & Early Childhood Studies at the University of Florida (UF). Currently, she is a Co-PI for the CEEDAR Center and PI on the MARC Project at UF designed to support including antiracism content across the undergraduate curriculum.  Dr. McCray has been recognized on multiple levels for her teaching and research, which emphasize the influence of diversity on educational practice and policy.

Photo of Adrian Mims

Dr. Adrian B. Mims Sr. is the Founder and CEO of The Calculus Project Inc., a nonprofit that partners with families, community-based organizations, school districts, and postsecondary institutions to increase the number of Black, Hispanic, and low-income students enrolled in Calculus Honors, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics.

Dr. Mims received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of South Carolina, a Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics from Simmons College, a second masters in Educational Leadership from Simmons, and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Boston College.

Photo of Jon Mundorf

Dr. Jon Mundorf is an award-winning teacher and university school assistant professor at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, the public K-12 lab school at the University of Florida. He is a founding member of the All Y’all Social Justice Collective, a nonprofit providing relevant, engaging, justice-oriented professional learning for teachers and community members in the South at no cost. Dr. Mundorf enjoys sharing his classroom-based research on UDL, information literacy, inclusion, practitioner research, technology integration, and social justice with educators at conferences and workshops around the world. His writings have been published in the International Journal of Teacher Leadership, Japanese Journal of Learning Disabilities, Journal of Special Education Technology, Middle School Journal, and Ohio Journal of English Language Arts.

Photo of Kavita Rao

Dr. Kavita Rao is a professor at College of Education, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her research focuses on instructional and assistive technology, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), online learning for non-traditional students, and technology-related strategies for culturally and linguistically diverse students.Kavita is the coauthor with Caroline Torres of UDL for Language Learners (CAST Professional Publishing, 2019). Dr. Rao has worked as a school technology coordinator in Massachusetts, a technology specialist for Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, and with schools and districts in Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and the Federated States of Micronesia. She conducts workshops on UDL around the US and in Asia.

Photo of Natalie Thoreson

Natalie Thoreson, inVision Consulting's sole proprietor and primary consultant, has designed and facilitated social justice, anti-oppression, and liberation workshops for 20 years. Natalie aims to shape safe, welcoming, creative, and productive spaces based on understanding, respect, and authentic support. She does this by providing tools that allow participants to think critically about their own backgrounds and biases while simultaneously dissecting concepts like oppression, prejudice, and stereotyping. Natalie's consistently open, trusting, and fun educational environments are based on her first hand experiences as a multiethnic, multiracial, multigendered queer individual living in the margins of identity. Natalie believes that creating safe space for all is necessary for true revolutionary change.

Photo of Federico Waitoller

Dr. Federico R. Waitoller is an Associate Professor at the department of Special Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Fulbright professor at the Universidad Autònoma de Barcelona. His research focuses on urban inclusive education and has two strands: (a) teacher learning and pedagogies for inclusive education and (b) the impact of market-driven educational reforms on students with disabilities’ educational experiences. He is the recipient of the 2018 Researcher of the Year, Rising Star in Social Sciences Award at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His book Excluded by Choice: Urban Students with Disabilities in the Education Marketplace was published in 2020 by Teachers College Press.


Stay informed about UDL Rising to Equity: Reenvisioning the UDL Guidelines.

Collaborate with us and get updates on our progress as we move forward with updating CAST's UDL Guidelines to more directly and explicitly address systemic barriers.

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