Today I had the opportunity to work with an amazing administrative team in the Del Norte School District on the northern coast in California. We were discussing the best entry points to teach high school staff about the importance of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and providing all students with opportunities to become expert learners. We had an a-ha moment (think – fireworks in the brain!) and decided that a great place to start is the profile of a graduate. Sometimes called a portrait of a graduate or a vision of a graduate, “a graduate profile is a document that
A contribution from the brilliant Dr. Eric Moore. Moore is the Universal Design for Learning & Accessibility Specialist + Instructional Designer at the University of Tennessee as well as a practicing educational consultant and author of UDL Navigators in Higher Education: A Field Guide. Contact him directly at DREJMOORE@INNOSPIRE.ORG *** “Come the glorious day when all barriers went… y’know…. We’d just be people with impairments; we wouldn’t be disabled people anymore.” ~Laurence Clark When I was a middle school kid in the early stages of going deaf, I didn’t understand all of the cultural baggage and philosophical context associated with
Recently, I shared a blog, “My Struggle with the Word “Disabled” and asked for others to share their perspectives. I am floored by the response. It is my goal, with permission, to elevate and celebrate the stories that have been shared with me. In this third installment in this series, I’m happy to share the perspective of Amy Boyden, an educator, a Momma, and an advocate for all students and UDL. I am chiming in because I found myself thinking about disability in a slightly different way this week. I was looking over a page of my own blog, a page
Recently, I shared a blog, “My Struggle with the Word “Disabled” and asked for others to share their perspectives. I am floored by the response. It is my goal, with permission, to elevate and celebrate the stories that have been shared with me. In this second installment in this series, Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles shares her thoughts on disability. Hillary is an Assistive Technology Specialist with 20 years of experience, an Adjunct Faculty Member at the University of New England, and the brilliant author of One Size Does Not Fit All: Equity, Access, PD, and UDL. Perhaps we do not want to
Recently, I shared a blog, “My Struggle with the Word “Disabled” and asked for others to share their perspectives. I am floored by the response. It is my goal, with permission, to elevate and celebrate the stories that have been shared with me. In this first installment in this series, I am incredibly honored to share the work of my dear friend, Joni Degner. Joni is half of the dream consultant team, DTour. Please read her perspective on the term “disabled” and how it has affected her personally. As someone who lived and functioned with no hint of disability for
If you’ve heard me present, you’ll hear me say, “It is not our learners who are disabled. It is our systems, our curriculum.” This is not to say that our learners don’t have disabilities because they do. Disability is a source of identity, pride, and civil rights. As a mom of a daughter with disability, I wouldn’t trade her, or her disability, for anything in the world. My struggle recently is whether disability and “disabled” are the same thing. By writing this post, I hope to continue difficult conversations about disability so as a field, we can get this right.
What is it about summer? Every year, I feel like I enter a wormhole in the beginning of June and SNAP, just like that, it’s a week until school begins. It’s mind-blowing how every year we get older, time seems to whoosh by us at an exponentially faster rate. When time flies, it’s very easy to put off what we define as important to us. Tomorrow. Next week. Next year. We are always delaying, procrastinating, putting-off. Our to-do lists lengthen, and they are often abandoned altogether as we enter cognitive overload and begin to cope by ignoring or giving up.
According to data in the U.S. Department of Education’s 40th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2018, pg 52), 63% of students with disabilities are spending at least 80% of their school day in an inclusive setting. This percentage is a huge improvement over decades past – when students with disabilities were most often segregated from their peers – but we can still do better. Moving to a more inclusive and equitable education system requires a thorough review of our existing structures, practices, and views to ensure it is done successfully. Educating
I had the great pleasure of giving a UDL Talk two weeks ago at the 2019 UDL IRN International Summit. I spoke about something that I think we all need to be more vocal about – our missteps, falls, mistakes, setbacks, and outright failures during UDL implementation. Implementation takes time, and I am not talking about a month or even a year. According to the National Implementation Network, we should expect full implementation to take more like four to seven years. And what is “full implementation” exactly? That’s when half of your staff is fully on board – just half.
One of my best friends, Kate, regularly blesses us with drool-worthy confections worthy of winning fine arts awards. She is the ultimate expert baker. Every cupcake, cookie, and cake is perfection – moist, crunchy, chewy – and just as it should be in its perfect form. I, on the other hand, am no expert baker. My cookies are flat, my brownies are dry, and I only make cake from a box. I know why. It’s not worth the effort. I rarely measure with the precision baking requires. I don’t invest in high quality ingredients. I just don’t love sweets that