Accessibility, Usability,

& Universal Design


Product = device, service, or environment

Accessibility = the extent to which people can derive functionality from a product or the ease of convenience of the product.

Usability = extent to which a product can be used for effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction.

Universal Design = extent to which products are designed to provide access to all people.

Section 508:
In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.
Wearable technology
The term “universal design” means a concept or philosophy for designing and delivering products and services that are usable by people with the widest possible range of functional capabilities, which include products and services that are directly usable (without requiring assistive technologies) and products and services that are made usable with assistive technologies. (U.S.C. § 3002)

What is Universal Design for Learning?

  • Universal Design for Learning is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.
  • UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs. Individuals bring a huge variety of skills, needs, and interests to learning. (

Universal Design for Learning calls for ...

  • Multiple means of representation (to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge).
  • Multiple means of expression (to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know).
  • Multiple means of engagement (to tap into learners' interests, offer appropriate challenges, and increase motivation).

What is the Goal of UDL?

  • To remove barriers to learning
  • To provide supports where they are needed
  • To engage every student in a successful learning experience. (

Why is UDL necessary?

  • Individuals bring a huge variety of skills, needs, and interests to learning. (

How can the Internet and multimedia be used to individualize learning for students with varied backgrounds, learning styles, abilities and disabilities?

  • The flexibility of digital media and the varied resources available on the World Wide Web provide great opportunity for individualization. However, care must be taken to structure any learning experience so that the focus remains on the particular goal at hand. This requires preparation and careful consideration of each learner's needs and skills. (Q7) (

Guiding principles for use of technology:

  • Universal design for learning can add functionality to the practice of "response to intervention." Free technology can be integrated into all classrooms thereby providing universal interventions or precautions for all students.