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UDL Across the Disciplines (STEM-focused)

Note: This post comes with the disclaimer found elsewhere on the site. Most scholarship focusing on UDL currently does not adequately attend to the intersectional needs of students of color and the ways that racialized expectations in classrooms disproportionately limit the access that students of color have to classrooms (and thus, often, to structural adjustments to classrooms called for in UDL scholarship that makes race invisible, therefore coding itself white). There are some excellent readings critiquing the whiteness of dis/ability studies more broadly and UDL praxis specifically here in the General Must-Reads section.

Lid, Inger Marie. “Universal Design and Disability: An Interdisciplinary Perspective.” Disability and Rehabilitation 36.16 (2014): 1344-1349.

Howard, Kirsten Lee. “Universal Design for Learning: Meeting the Needs of All Students. In the Curriculum–Multidisciplinary.” Learning & Leading with Technology 31.5 (2004): 26-29.

Higbee, Jeanne L. “Implementing Universal Instructional Design in Postsecondary Courses and Curricula.” Journal of College Teaching and Learning 6.8 (2009): 65.

McGuire, Joan M. “Universally Accessible Instruction: Oxymoron or Opportunity?.” Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability 27.4 (2014): 387-398.

Ngubane-Mokiwa, Sindile, and Simon Bheki Khoza. “Lecturers’ Experiences of Teaching STEM to Students with Disabilities.” Journal of Learning for Development-JL4D 3.1 (2016).

Bellman, Scott, Sheryl Burgstahler, and Penny Hinke. “Academic Coaching: Outcomes from a Pilot Group of Postsecondary STEM Students with Disabilities.” Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability 28.1 (2015): 103-108.

Sukhai, Mahadeo A., and Chelsea E. Mohler. Creating a Culture of Accessibility in the Sciences. Academic Press, 2016.

Basham, James D., and Matthew T. Marino. “Understanding STEM Education and Supporting Students through Universal Design for Learning.” Teaching Exceptional Children 45.4 (2013): 8-15.

Kurtts, Stephanie A., Catherine E. Matthews, and Tammy Smallwood. “(Dis) solving the Differences: A Physical Science Lesson using Universal Design.” Intervention in School and Clinic 44.3 (2009): 151-159.

Curry, Cynthia, Libby Cohen, and Nancy Lightbody. “Universal Design in Science Learning.” The Science Teacher 73.3 (2006): 32.

Higbee, Jeanne L., Carl J. Chung, and Leonardo Hsu. “Enhancing the Inclusiveness of First-year Courses through Universal Instructional Design.” Pedagogy and Student Services for Institutional Transformation: Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education (2008): 61-77.

Street, Christine Duden, et al. “Expanding Access to STEM for At-Risk Learners: A New Application of Universal Design for Instruction.” Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability 25.4 (2012): 363-375.

McDaniel, Nancy. “Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in a College Chemistry Lab Course.” Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability 11.1 (1994): 20-28.

Kortering, Larry J., Terry W. McClannon, and Patricia M. Braziel. “Universal Design for Learning: A Look at what Algebra and Biology Students with and without High Incidence Conditions are Saying.” Remedial and Special Education 29.6 (2008): 352-363.

Cliffe, Emma. “Accessibility of Mathematical Resources: The Technology Gap.” MSOR Connections 9.4 (2009): 37-42.

King-Sears, Margaret E., et al. “An Exploratory Study of Universal Design for Teaching Chemistry to Students with and without Disabilities.” Learning Disability Quarterly 38.2 (2015): 84-96.

Marino, Matthew T., et al. “Enhancing Secondary Science Content Accessibility With Video Games.” TEACHING Exceptional Children 47.1 (2014): 27-34.

Duquaine-Watson, J. M. “Computing Technologies, The Digital Divide, and “Universal” Instructional Methods.” Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education (2008): 437.

Kinney, D. Patrick, and Laura Smith Kinney. “Computer-Mediated Learning in Mathematics and Universal Instructional Design.” Curriculum Transformation and Disability: Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education (2003): 115-125.

Brothen, Thomas, and Cathrine Wambach. “Universal Instructional Design in a Computer-based Psychology Course.” Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education (2008): 165.

Duranczyk, Irene M., and Annia K. Fayon. “Successful Undergraduate Mathematics through Universal Design of Essential Course Components, Pedagogy, and Assessment.” Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education (2008): 137.


Critical Dis/ability Studies 101

Academic Studies on UDL in Higher Ed

Must-Reads Part 1

As this is going to be an ever-growing process, I’d love for this post to be the first of many must-reads.

The texts that follow are texts that I believe are absolutely indispensable to professors working toward universal design in our classrooms.

Multi-modality in Motion not only models accessible webtext design, but it also is a collaborative text that unleashes the possibilities grown out of dis/ability studies perspectives in composition classrooms. The principles discussed and explored here, however, are not limited to writing classrooms.

Unspeakable offenses: Untangling race and disability in discourses of intersectionality“, by Nirmalla Erevelles, as well as her articles “These deadly times: Reconceptualizing school violence by using critical race theory and disability studies” and “Understanding curriculum as normalizing text: disability studies meet curriculum theory”, explore the intersections of curricular design, institutional policies, ableism, and racism in classroom practices; these theoretical groundings are crucial to building out genuinely accessible curricula and classroom experiences. (These articles are available by logging in through the CUNY Library system.)

“Promoting Diversity in the Universal: Rethinking Universal Design for Learning”, by Jill Sadowski, successfully argues that the “universality” of UDL — if it does not actively engage with the (in)visible whiteness behind “universality” and the injustices in the education system actively harming students of color — then the concept and praxis are diluted of their potential power. She argues effectively that “if UDL is to be useful as an accessibility tool, the framework’s reliance on diversity must be expanded to include the representation of different identities in the classroom” (3).

“Promoting Supportive Academic Environments for Faculty with Mental Illnesses: Resource Guide and Suggestions for Practice”, a resource guide from excellent scholars like Margaret Price and Stephanie Kerschbaum, explores the hostility of academic life to those of us faculty members with mental dis/abilities. They offer suggestions for reducing the hostility structurally while surviving and, indeed, thriving, individually.

“Broadening the Pathway to Academic Success: The Critical Intersections of Social Justice Education, Critical Multicultural Education, and Universal instructional Design”, by Heath W. Hackman, explores the ways that UDL practices that focus solely on structural access risk further marginalizing the needs of students of color, low-no income students, women students (and, I’d add, queer students) and various combinations thereof who certainly benefit from anti-ableist strategies but also suffer when these strategies uncritically assume straight, white, middle-class cis-maleness.

“Teaching with Trauma”, by Angela M. Carter, is a transformative text that offers a Feminist Dis/ability Studies Pedagogical perspective on trigger warnings, and the theoretical and practical classroom applications she lays out therein have tremendous implications for ensuring that anti-racist pedagogical practices are an intimate part of developing anti-ableist practices in our classrooms.

“The Bodymind Problem”, by Allison Hitt, takes readers on a journey through various dis/ability studies scholars’ work, and uses these works to explain the ways that our bodyminds are composed both of the structural and the individual (a crucial principle to understand when engaging in universal design projects).

Designing Collective Access: A Feminist Disability Theory of Universal Design, by