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About the Graphic Organizer

The UDL Guidelines are a tool that can be used to design learning experiences that meet the needs of all learners. These Guidelines offer a set of concrete suggestions for applying the UDL framework to practice and help ensure that all learners can access and participate in meaningful, challenging learning opportunities.

Organization

The UDL Guidelines are organized both horizontally and vertically. Vertically, the Guidelines are organized according to the three principles of UDL: engagement, representation, and action and expression. The principles are broken down into Guidelines, and each of these Guidelines have corresponding “checkpoints” that provide more detailed suggestions.

Three UDL principles and associated brain networks

The Guidelines are also organized horizontally. The “access” row includes the guidelines that suggest ways to increase access to the learning goal by recruiting interest and by offering options for perception and physical action.

The “build” row includes the guidelines that suggest ways to develop effort and persistence, language and symbols, and expression and communication.

Finally, the “internalize” row includes the guidelines that suggest ways to empower learners through self-regulation, comprehension, and executive function.

“Internalize” row of the UDL Guidelines

Taken together, the Guidelines lead to the ultimate goal of UDL: to develop “expert learners” who are, each in their own way, resourceful and knowledgeable, strategic and goal-directed, purposeful and motivated.

The goal of UDL: expert learners

Applying to Practice

The UDL Guidelines are not meant to be a “prescription” but a set of suggestions that can be applied to reduce barriers and maximize learning opportunities for all learners. They can be mixed and matched according to specific learning goals and can be applied to particular content areas and contexts.

In many cases, educators find that they are already incorporating some aspects of these guidelines into their practice; however, barriers to the learning goal may still be present. We see the Guidelines as a tool to support the development of a shared language in the design of goals, assessments, methods, and materials that lead to accessible, meaningful, and challenging learning experiences for all.