Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of CAST – Forty Forward: A Message from our CEO, Lindsay Jones
Monday, January 22, 2024
This year marks an exceptional milestone in our journey – 40 years of unwavering dedication to transforming education and empowering learners around the globe. This achievement is a testament to the incredible support and collaboration we've received from individuals like you who share our passion for equitable, inclusive learning experiences.
It’s astonishing to see how far we've come since 1984. At a time when personal computers were finding their way into homes, “Ghostbusters” and “Terminator” ruled the silver screen, and Bruce Springsteen's “Born in the USA” resonated through the airwaves, CAST was born with a revolutionary hypothesis: Students aren't broken; the design of learning experiences is too often inflexible and holds them back.
Change the design and unlock potential.
Fast forward to 2024, when years of research and collaboration, with your vital input, have given rise to the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework. This powerful approach, rooted in neuroscience, is now employed worldwide. UDL enables educators to intentionally design for variability in student learning, recognizing that every brain is unique, like our fingerprints. It maximizes engagement and empowers students to understand how they learn best.
Looking ahead to the next 40 years, CAST is committed to continuing this journey with you. Too often, education systems still categorize and label students, stifling their potential instead of empowering them. We can only change these systems if we do it together. We’ve updated our mission and vision statements to meet the evolving landscape and sharpen our focus on community, convening, and inspiration.
Our new mission: CAST leads, inspires, and convenes a global community to design equitable, inclusive learning experiences through our Universal Design for Learning framework.
Our new vision: We envision a world where all learning experiences in school, the workplace, and life are intentionally designed to elevate strengths and eliminate barriers so everyone has the opportunity to grow and thrive.
Throughout 2024, we invite you to celebrate, gather, and share your inspiring stories! Here are three ways to engage with us:
Share your stories: Let your experiences become a source of inspiration for our community. Share your thoughts, memories, and stories using the hashtag #CAST40Years across social media channels.
Stay informed: Stay updated on all our anniversary events and initiatives through our website at www.cast.org and our newsletter. Stay updated on the release of the newest edition of “UDL Theory and Practice” and the release of Guidelines 3.0.
As we celebrate, I extend my deepest gratitude to you for being an integral part of the UDL community and movement. I am excited about the transformation still to come.