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First Advisory Council Named for National Center on UDL

November 9, 2009
Contact: Janet Gronneberg
jgronneberg [at] cast [dot] org
40 Harvard Mills Square, Suite 3
Wakefield, MA 01880
Tel: 781-245-2212 ext. 275





Wakefield, Mass., November 9, 2009 —The first Advisory Council of the National Center on Universal Design for Learning (NCUDL) was announced today by Director David Rose.

In appointing the Advisory Council, David Rose notes: “They are leaders and innovators in education research, policy, instruction, assessment, and curriculum development – a group of exceptional caliber as well as diversity. I have no doubt that this extraordinary group will help steer the center as it addresses critical challenges facing the field of education at all levels.”

The Advisory Council includes  —  

Tom Hehir is Professor of Practice at Harvard University, Graduate School of Education. He served as Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs from 1993 to 1999. As Director, he was responsible for federal leadership in implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Instruction and Assessment
Emiliano Ayala is Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Special Education at Sonoma State University in California. He leads two federally funded projects  that promote UDL approaches in the Cal State system.

Markay Winston is Director of Student Services for the Cincinnati Public Schools and is leading a model UDL implementation in two schools.

Bridget Dalton is Assistant Professor Learning, Literacy and Culture at Vanderbilt University. A key figure in the development of UDL research, Dalton brings expertise in literacy and technology, struggling readers, and adolescent literacy. She is a co-author of the award winning software Thinking Reader based on UDL principles.

Don Deshler is the Director of the Center for Research on Learning, University of Kansas where he is also Professor of Special Education.  His research interests include special education, scalability, and bringing research into practice. He is also Co-Director of the National Technical Assistance and Dissemination Center on Response to Intervention (RTI).

Dave Edyburn is a professor in the Department of Exceptional Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with research focused on investigating the use of technology to enhance teaching, learning and performance. He is a leading national advocate for UDL practices.

Parents & Community
Rich Robison is the Executive Director of the Boston-based Federation of Children with Special Needs and the parent of three children.

Ricki Sabia is Chair of the National UDL Task Force in Washington, DC, a consortium 39 organizations working to improve education policy and practice through UDL. She is also Associate Director of the National Down Syndrome Society Policy Center and the parent of two children.

Curriculum & Products
Mark Schneiderman is Director of Federal Education Policy for the Software and Information Industry Association, the principal trade association of more than 500 high-tech companies.

About the National Center on UDL
The National Center on Universal Design for Learning ( was launched in October 2009 with support from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation. The Center aims to advance the field of UDL by supporting effective implementation of UDL in schools nationwide through information dissemination, sharing of best practices, convening key stakeholder organizations in education policy and advocacy, and sharing research that validates UDL approaches.

About CAST
Founded in 1984 as the Center for Applied Special Technology, CAST has earned international recognition for its development of innovative learning resources and for articulating the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a framework for creating inclusive educational environments. For more information, go to

Last Updated: 03/11/2011

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