Universal Design

Universal Design - "The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design."

— Ronald Mace (Center for Universal Design, 2008)

Seven Principles of Universal Design

Equitable Use – The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities

Flexibility in Use  – The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities

Simple and Intuitive Use  – The design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills or current concentration level.

Perceptible Information – The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities

Tolerance for Error – The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.

Low Physical Effort – The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.

Size and Space for Approach and Use – Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation and use regardless of user's body size, posture or mobility.

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Universal Design for Learning

Recognizing that the way individuals learn can be unique, the UDL framework, first defined by David H. Rose, Ed.D. of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Center for Applied Special Technology(CAST) in the 1990s, calls for creating curriculum from the outset that provides:


For additional information:

National Center on Universal Design for Learning


Download UDL graphics from the National Center on Universal Design for Learning"© CAST, Inc. 2009-2012. Used with Permission. All Rights Reserved.