AT- (Assistive Technology)- Tools or devices that help students with disabilities participate fully in the general curriculum. These tools may be low technology, such as a pencil grip, or high technology such as a computer program to aid reading comprehension.
CAST- (Center for Applied Special Technology)- A nonprofit organization that focuses its educational research on using UDL to meet the needs of all learners. Please visit the CAST website for more information.
IDEA- (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)- A federal law that dictates that students with disabilities must be given a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Please visit theNational Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities for more information.
UDL- (Universal Design for Learning)- Rather than creating a curriculum built for the average student, UDL demands that teachers design a curriculum that is built for a diverse group of learners. The curriculum should include various ways of engaging the students, ways of representing the material, and different ways that students can express their learning. For a great tutorial, please watch UDL at a Glance.
NCLB- (No Child Left Behind)- A federal law passed in 2001 that raised standards for education and holds schools accountable for reaching these standards. For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Education.
UDL Q & A
The CAST website contains a Question and Answer section that explains the basics of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). If you're wondering how UDL can help differentiate instruction or how UDL fits in with No Child Left Behind (NCLB), then please visit UDL Questions and Answers.