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New UDL Postdoctoral Fellows Named for 2011-2012 Year

February 23, 2011
Contact: David Gordon
dgordon [at] cast [dot] org
Tel: 781-245-2212 ext. 275



Wakefield, MA, Feb. 23, 2011 — CAST and Boston College’s Lynch School of Education announced today the appointment of two postdoctoral UDL Fellows for 2011-2012, the third year of a four-year leadership preparation project awarded to Boston College and CAST by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to prepare leaders for the field of universal design for learning.

The UDL Fellows will be in residence at CAST beginning in September for one year and will collaborate with research scientists, policy experts, and teacher education professionals from CAST and Boston College on UDL-based projects in issues critical to growing the field of UDL.

“We are very pleased with the high qualifications these two new UDL fellows bring to the postdoctoral fellowship,” says Richard Jackson, Principal Investigator of the project. “Once again our efforts have yielded two outstanding appointees for our UDL Postdoctoral Fellowship Award. Both candidates possess outstanding credentials and an impressive record of prior accomplishments in the areas of study they will be pursuing. Indeed, we are most fortunate to have two such talented individuals join our team as we move the project forward over the coming year with significant policy and practice initiatives.”

The 2011-2012 UDL Fellows are:

Joanne Karger, J.D., Ed.D.
Joanne Karger holds a doctorate in Administration, Planning, & Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, as well as a law degree and masters in education from Boston College’s joint degree program in education law. As an attorney at the Center for Law and Education since 2007, Dr. Karger has provided technical assistance to legal services and pro bono counsel representing low-income students in education-related matters as well as to parents of students with disabilities, advocacy groups, and others. She is a policy advisor for the National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials (2010-present) and has been a research associate for the National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum (2002-2005). As a consultant with Hehir & Associates (2002-2006), Dr. Karger was involved in the evaluation of special education programs in New York City, the District of Columbia, and several low-income districts in Massachusetts, and wrote recommendations for improving policies and procedures for meeting the needs of all learners. At CAST, she will research ways UDL can be used to help improve the educational opportunities of students from low-income backgrounds, from both a policy and a curriculum development standpoint.


Frances G. Smith, Ed.D.
Fran Smith earned a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from George Washington University (2008). For the past decade, Dr. Smith has explored ways of applying UDL to K-12, career assessment and postsecondary learning environments. Through her work with the Virginia Department of Education’s Training and Technical Assistance Center at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and as a technology coordinator and collateral instructional faculty member in the VCU’s School of Education, Dr. Smith provided instruction and training emphasizing UDL and worked with other postsecondary faculty on UDL implementation. As a visiting adjunct professor since 2003, she has taught a graduate course in UDL in George Washington University’s Department of Teacher Preparation and Special Education, and helped expand online UDL features of this course through the Ohio State University’s Faculty Administrative Modules in Education program. She has also played an active role in the National UDL Task Force based in Washington, DC, and the IDEA Partnership’s National UDL Community of Practice. At CAST, Dr. Smith will focus on helping develop and coordinate online resources to support postsecondary educators in applying UDL. In addition, she will continue her development of tools to measure the effectiveness of UDL implementation in postsecondary classrooms.

UDL Fellows receive a generous stipend, tuition credits at Boston College, a travel allowance and have access to the university’s and CAST’s resources and facilities. For application information for the year beginning September 2012, please email udlfellows [at] cast [dot] org">udlfellows [at] cast [dot] org.

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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