UDL Rising to Equity Advisory Board
The UDL Rising to Equity Advisory Board guides and informs the process of reenvisioning CAST’s UDL Guidelines through an equity lens. The Advisory 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.
Chrissie Butler is a UDL and inclusive design and practice specialist based in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Chrissie primarily works as a Principal Adviser in the New Zealand Ministry of Education national office with a focus on UDL, inclusive design, and accessibility. She also develops both undergraduate and graduate courses in UDL for universities. For the last 13 years Chrissie has been exploring a people-first expression of UDL that is embedded in the cultural context of the South Pacific and is explicitly committed to equity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Erica D. 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.
Bruce McKay is a Cree Metis educator who graduated from the Yukon Native Teacher Education Program at Yukon University. He has taught multi-grade classrooms on reserves in Alberta and BC and has also instructed at Bow Valley College in the Indigenous Upgrading Program. Bruce is now the Indigenous Relations and Services Coordinator at Northern Lights College at the Dawson Creek Campus. He believes in making change one conversation at a time. Bruce is a Cree drum circle member and sweat lodge ceremonialist who hikes, swims, and snowshoes to connect to Mother Earth and the Creator.
Dr. 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.
Dr. 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.
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.
Dr. Federico R. 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.
Dr. Lisa Williams
Dr. Lisa Williams is a national expert on topics of equity and access in public education. She currently serves as the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Y in Central Maryland. She has served as Chief Equity Officer for the Fairfax County Schools as well as Executive Director for Equity and Cultural Proficiency in the Baltimore County Schools. She has provided guidance for school boards, public and private schools, and non-profits and has presented at the local, state, national and international levels. Dr. Williams is co-author of two books — When Treating all the Kids the Same is the Real Problem: Educational Leadership and the 21st Century Dilemma of Difference and Humanity Over Comfort: How You Confront Systemic Racism Head On — both published by Corwin Press. Dr. Williams is the proud mom of a son, Andrew, who is the daily inspiration for her work for all children.
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