Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning

Assistive technology (AT) is defined as “any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities” (ATIA, http://www.atia.org/at-resources/what-is-at). AT devices can come in many shapes and sizes–from a simple pencil grip to a highly-advanced computer system. AT is available for anyone who has disabilities; however, for the purposes of this web site, we will only discuss AT as it pertains to individuals with developmental disabilities.

psx_20160914_200719Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is defined as “a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn” (National Center on Universal Design for Learning, http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/whatisudl). UDL covers the “what,” “how,” & “why” of learning. While commonly used in the context of k-12 education, UDL can be used in any setting in which material is being taught and learned. UDL allows for multiple means representing information to the learner, multiple means of expressing the learned content by the learner, and multiple means of engaging or motivating the learner towards present and future content. For more information, visit CAST.org or udlcenter.org.