Active Teaching Lab Recap: Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Wed November 4, 2020

The November 4, 2020 Active Teaching Lab theme moved beyond “accommodations”  and towards inclusive design principles. 

Why UDL/Accessibility is worth your time and effort

  1. Preventative: While one can never preemptively address all the needs that your students will have, UDL is a framework that can help us design learning environments that address many student needs. The more issues we can address ahead of time, the fewer we’ll need to react to and accommodate during the course.
  2. Benefits all: Just as closed captions and crosswalk curb cuts help people who need them and people on skateboards, strollers, bikes, or those immersed in their phones, UDL interventions also benefit students who don’t need them.
  3. Focus on Teaching: With a UDL framework in place ahead of time, you can spend more teaching time on concepts and content, and less teaching time readjusting materials to reach learners.
  4. Pandemic Variables: While we’re generally less than aware of the invisible struggles our students (and faculty!) are going through, in remote teaching and increased distancing those struggles are even harder to ascertain. See UW-Madison Campus-Wide Disability Survey Results. Hedge your bets with UDL.

To learn more and discover new resources, visit the session’s activity sheet.


Grounded in inclusive learning, infused with research, and connecting to the Wisconsin Experience, Active Teaching Labs help you learn more about teaching tools and equitable practices, and hear how UW-Madison instructors motivate, engage, and more effectively teach the diverse range of students we encounter.

Find out more about Active Teaching Labs here.