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About UDL

Learn the basics

What is UDL?

Universal Design for Learning
is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.

UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.

Why is UDL necessary?

Individuals bring a huge variety of skills, needs, and interests to learning. Neuroscience reveals that these differences are as varied and unique as our DNA or fingerprints. Three primary brain networks come into play:


Universal Design for Learning

Recognition Networks

The "what" of learning

Image of a brain with recognition network shown in purple

How we gather facts and categorize what we see, hear, and read. Identifying letters, words, or an author's style are recognition tasks.

checkmark Present information and content in different ways

More ways to provide
Multiple Means of Representation

Strategic Networks

The "how" of learning

Image of a brain with strategic network shown in blue

Planning and performing tasks. How we organize and express our ideas. Writing an essay or solving a math problem are strategic tasks.

checkmark Differentiate the ways that students can express what they know

More ways to provide
Multiple Means of Action and Expression

Affective Networks

The "why" of learning

Image of a brain with affective network shown in green

How learners get engaged and stay motivated. How they are challenged, excited, or interested. These are affective dimensions.

checkmark Stimulate interest and motivation for learning

More ways to provide
Multiple Means of Engagement

Source: CAST - What is UDL? (

Learn more about UDL:

Last Updated: 07/31/2014

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