Following on from the highly successful A Vision for Inclusion conference in March 2023, our sixth annual conference will explore a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a framework for strengthening universal provision and high quality first teaching to support the inclusion of all learners in all educational settings.
The conference will support delegates to:
- explore the core principles of the Universal Design for Learning framework
- develop their knowledge and understanding of the Engagement strand – the why of learning
- experience a range of practical tools to support implementation
- network with expert facilitators and leaders in SEND and inclusion to foster collaboration and share best practice
The UDL framework guides the design of instructional goals, assessments, methods, and materials that can be customised and adjusted to meet the needs of the individual. To support education settings to meet a vision for the inclusion of all learners, the UDL guidelines offer a set of concrete suggestions that can be applied to any discipline or domain to ensure that all learners can access and participate in meaningful, challenging learning opportunities.
Speakers and Facilitators
- Kevin Merry – Associate Professor, Author, Teacher Fellow, Editor, Network Founder, PFHEA, CATE winner, and Champion of Accessible, Inclusive, and Equitable Education.
- Shahana Knight – Award winning Childhood trauma and Behaviour specialist, Director of TPC
- Dr Zachary Walker – International speaker, policy adviser, author, Head of Department, UCL IOE Psychology and Human Development
- Neil Taylor – Former Lego Education Account Manager now Director of Consultants at Creative Hut
- Fiona Law – Head of Teaching and Learning at Canopy, Google Trainer and educator
- Nerys Hughes – Specialist in early childhood development and retained reflex integration
Design your Day!
Workshops and keynote sessions are available for you to book during registration. The timetable is designed for you to be able to plan your own conference day, participate in workshops, and hear from speakers in a way that suits you and to your interests. For example, if you would prefer more time to network, you don’t have to book a session for every time slot.
Shahana Knight: Therapeutic classrooms
Google: How to implement edu tech into your lessons for children with additional needs
Nerys Hughes: Sensory integration in the classroom
BATA: The Power of Assistive technology (AT)
CreativeHUT: Celebrating creativity & Hands-On Learning
- Why is it important to give everyone the opportunity to get hands-on, and creative?
- How can this be achieved through fun and engaging learning experiences, to support attainment in students?
Take part in a series of Hands-on Creative Challenges focused on the use of resources such as the ‘LEGO 6 Bricks’ tool for learning, and discover how skills such as Language, Problem Solving & Communication can be enhanced through play! Each delegate will take away a LEGO 6 Bricks Pack and Lesson Plans Access to use in their school.
Kevin Merry: Principles of UDL Instructional Design
Dr Kevin Merry will facilitate a workshop exploring the practical application of UDL. The workshop will get attendees exploring key UDL instructional design considerations including learner variability, the intentional learning design framework, application of the UDL principles, and the importance of iteratively shaping learning designs to support learners based on where they are “right now”.
The workshop will require attendees to work collaboratively to address fundamental questions relating to the differences between learners, how those differences will influence learner engagement with learning, and the subsequent impact of those learner differences on how the learning environment is designed.
Learners will give particular attention to the goals of learning, the way in which learners demonstrate that they have met learning goals, the learning and teaching approaches and the learning resources that support learning, giving particular focus to the variety offered in relation to teaching approaches, learning resources and assessments.
- Shahana Knight: Therapeutic Teaching
- British Assistive Technology Association
- Google – The benefits of assistive technology to support additional needs
- CreativeHUT – The importance of creativity in lesson planning
- Nerys Hughes – Recognising and responding to sensory needs
Why should I attend?
- You want to evolve your provision using a scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice that
- (A) provides flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways students are engaged; and
- (B) reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports and challenges, and maintains high achievement expectations for all students, including students with disabilities and students who are limited English proficient.
The history of UDL
The vision for what would later become the Universal Design for Learning was first conceived by CAST, a non-profit education research and development organisation based in USA, in 1988. Twenty years later, their innovative approach to equalising access to the curriculum was recognised in the United States federal High Education Opportunity Act (2008) which included the first statutory definition of UDL:
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) means a scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice that (A) provides flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways students are engaged; and (B) reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports and challenges, and maintains high achievement expectations for all students, including students with disabilities and students who are limited English proficient.
Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008
The UDL framework was later further endorsed in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (2016) which was originally passed to address the need for greater equity and opportunity in the American public school system.
The USA is not alone in recognising the power of UDL as a framework to benefit all learners; New Zealand and Ghana are also endorsing the approach to meet their objectives for inclusion, while the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report (2020), Inclusion and education: All means all, also highlight the potential of UDL to ‘provide flexible approaches for curriculum design that can be adjusted for individual needs’.
In the UK, the benefits of UDL were recognised by the DfE in guidance for the HE sector which explicitly endorsed the framework as a tool for ensuring equal opportunity for all students ‘using more flexible methods of teaching, assessment and service provision to cater for different styles of learners’ (DfE, 2017, Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Higher Education as a route to Excellence).
As our classrooms become increasingly diverse, our SEND and Inclusion experts at BDSIP believe the UDL framework offers classroom teachers an effective, evidence-based approach to meeting the needs of all learners in their classrooms and thereby, realise a vision of effective inclusion for all.
Therefore, our conference will provide an introduction to the principles of the Universal Design for Learning and enable delegates to experience UDL in action so they can make an informed decision about how the framework might work in their settings.
For general booking or CPD enquiries please contact CPDEvents@bdsip.co.uk