EPD - Teaching & Learning - Theories & Principles - Universal Design
Universal Design (UD) ensures that a product or environment can be used by as many people as possible.
SummaryUniversal Design creates an environment for users that is accessible, usable, and understandable to the greatest extent possible, regardless of age, ability, or situation (National Disability Authority [NDA], 2020). The seven principles of Universal Design are (NDA, 2020):
|Flexibility in Use|
|Simple and Intuitive Use|
|Tolerance of Error|
|Low Physical Effort|
|Size and Space for |
Approach and Use
ApplicationThe concept of Universal Design has many applications, including Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Web Accessibility. When designing for learning, it is important to incorporate the three principles of UDL (UW-Madison, 2016):
Learning management systems (e.g., Canvas) and instructional materials should be accessible, easy to use, and engaging for learners (UW-Madison, 2020). For more on accessible online learning, see EPD - Teaching & Learning - Theories & Principles - Accessibility.
- What is Universal Design? (website, National Disability Authority)
- Universal Design for Learning (video, Boston College)
- Universal Design for Learning Guidelines (website, CAST)
- Make It Accessible Guide (website, UW KnowledgeBase)