Implementation

Be the change

UDL Guidelines - Version 2.0: Examples and Resources

Checkpoint 1.3: Offer alternatives for visual information

I. Provide Multiple Means of Representation

Perception

Key Considerations

  • How does this help learners meet the goal?
  • How does this account for the variability of all learners?
  • Is information only being presented in a visual way?

udlcenter [at] udlcenter [dot] org (Can you think of other examples/resources that illustrate this checkpoint? Tell us!)

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Example/Resource Why UDL?
Images of the carbon cycle

WGBH's Guidelines for Describing STEM Images

This website provides both general guidelines that should be followed when describing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) images for people who are blind or who have visual impairments and many examples of how the guidelines can be implemented.

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: STEM
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Why UDL? A great deal of  Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) content comes in the form of graphs, tables, diagrams, and math equations. This visual information is inaccessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. WGBH's Guidelines are a great example of providing alternatives for visual information.

 Art Beyond site logo with an image of an eye

Art Beyond Sight

A one stop resource for bringing art and culture to people with visual impairments.

Be sure to check out their handbook which includes theory, research, learning tools and suggestions for how to discuss and describe art to individuals who are visually impaired.

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: Art
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection; many strategies suggested do not include technology

Why UDL? Art Beyond Sight provides guidance on how to make visual art accessible to all individuals.
Screen within the Explorer that allows you to choose voice and speed

AIM Explorer

The AIM Explorer is a free simulation that combines grade-leveled digital text with access features common to most text readers and other supported reading software. Magnification, custom text and background colors, text-to-speech (synthetic and human), text highlighting, and layout options are presented in a logical sequence to help struggling readers decide which of these supports might help them to access and understand text.

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: All content
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection; once downloaded, application can be used with or without an Internet connection

Why UDL? Text-to-speech is an effective way to provide alternatives for visual information. The AIM Explorer allows users to explore their preferences for different text-to-speech options such as voice (synthetic and human), speed, and text highlighting.

See also:
1.1: Offer ways of customizing the display of information

2.3: Support decoding of text, mathematical notation, and symbols

Dawn Tamarkin in her biology classroom

UDL in Higher Education Biology Examples

In this video, watch how Dr. Dawn Tamarkin, Professor of Biology at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, MA, incorporates UDL principles into her Introductory Biology course

Age Group: This is an example from higher education, but this strategy can be used across grade levels
Content Area: Biology
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Why UDL? Dr. Tamarkin creates “tactile cells” in order to make examining cells through a microscope more accessible to all of her students. These "tactile cells" are excellent examples of "providing alternatives for visual information."

See also:
4.1: Vary the methods for response and navigation

APH's logo - letters A-P-H in the form of a circle

Fred's Head from APH

The Fred's Head blog contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Fred's Head is offered by the American Printing House for the Blind.

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: All
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet conncection

Why UDL? The resources included in the Fred's Head blog provide numerous examples of proving alternatives for visual information.

UDL Editions logo

CAST's UDL Editions

UDL Editions take advantage of the flexibility of digital media to reach and engage all learners. Leveled supports and the Texthelp Toolbar balance challenge and support for each learner, ages 10 and up. Select your book to get started!

Age Group: Grade 3 and up
Content Area: Literacy
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Why UDL? The multimedia glossary embedded throughout all of the texts in UDL Editions is a great example of supporting vocabulary and symbols. Click on an underlined word, and read the definition in text, listen to the defintion through text-to-speech, and see visual depictions.

See also:
2.1: Clarify vocabulary and symbols

2.2: Clarify syntax and structure

3.3: Guide information processing, visualization, and manipulation

5.3: Build fluencies with graduated levels of support for practice and performance

8.2: Vary demands and resources to optimize challenge

Arthur character at a machine that makes braille

You've Got Braille

An informational website for young students to learn about different apects of braille. Type in a message, and see how it would look in braille!

Age Group: Elementary
Content Area: All
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Why UDL? Providing information through braille for students who are blind or who are visually imparied is another alternative for representing visual information.

Girl in a library listening with head phones

Learning Through Listening

Learning Through Listening is a website that offers "free listening focused content and skill building exercises such as:

  • Lesson Plans
  • Classroom Activities
  • Teaching Strategies
  • Listening Resources"

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: All
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection; many of the strategies suggested require no technology

Why UDL? Presenting information through sound is one way to provide aternatives to visual information. However, developing strong listening skills is no easy task! Educators can explore this website for specific activities as well as resources and information on how to develop the powerful learning skill of listening.

W3C logo

Math ML

Informational website on Mathematical Markup Language, or MathML. MathML is an XML application for describing mathematical notation and capturing both its structure and content.

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: Math
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Why UDL? Access this website to learn more about Math ML and how mathematical equations are being embedded in digital format in the same way that text has been embedded to promote the flexibility and fluidity of mathematical notation on the web. 

See also:
2.3: Support decoding of text, mathematical notation, and symbols

Voki Avatar

Voki

Voki is  text to speech generator that allows the user to create a personal speaking avatar that can be embedded in a website. The site offers a high level of customization ranging from the overall look of the Voki to the sound of its voice.

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: All content
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Why UDL? Personal speaking avatars that read text aloud is a great example of providing options for visiual information. Plus, the fact that students can customize the look and sound of their avatars adds to engagement!

See also:
2.3: Support decoding of text, mathematical notation, and symbols

DCMP logo

Described and Captioned Media Program

Described and Captioned Digital Media Program is a library of over 4,000 open-captioned titles (videos, CD-ROM, and DVD). Several hundred titles are also streamed on the web site.  The videos are designed for students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf blind.

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: All content
Cost: Free Level 1 and 2 membership, which includes free use of media library
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Why UDL? The work that DCMP does to describe visual information so that it is accessible to individuals who are blind or who have visual impairments is a great example of providing alternatives to visual information. Plus, all learners benefit from the detailed descriptions of images that reveal and highlight critical features.

See also:
1.2: Offer alternatives for auditory information

AIM logo - blue hexagon, orange octagon, green circle

National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM)

This site serves as a resource to state- and district-level educators, parents, publishers, conversion houses, accessible media producers, and others interested in learning more about and implementing AIM and NIMAS.

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: All content
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Why UDL? AIM are specialized formats of curricular content that can be used by and students with print-disabilities. They include formats such as Braille, audio, large print, and electronic text. The Braille, audio, and electronic text formats are excellent examples of providing alternatives for visual information.

See also:
1.1: Offer ways of customizing the display of information

2.3: Support decoding of text, mathematical notation, and symbols

4.1: Vary the methods for response and navigation

4.2: Optimize access to tools and assistive technologies

Students and a teacher working on a computer

AIM Navigator

"The AIM Navigator is a free tool that facilitates the process of decision-making around accessible instructional materials for an individual student. The four major decision points in the process include 1) determination of need, 2) selection of format(s), 3) acquisition of formats; and 4) selection of supports for use. The AIM Navigator includes guiding questions, information that informs decision-making, and useful resources for each decision point."

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: All content
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Why UDL? AIM are specialized formats of curricular content that can be used by and students with print-disabilities. They include formats such as Braille, audio, large print, and electronic text. The Braille, audio, and electronic text formats are excellent examples of providing alternatives for visual information.

See also:

1.1: Offer ways of customizing the display of information

2.3: Support decoding of text, mathematical notation, and symbols

4.1: Vary the methods for response and navigation

4.2: Optimize access to tools and assistive technologies

Last Updated: 07/22/2015

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