Inclusion for All

UDL & Special Education

This course will equip educators with the skills and mindset needed for designing instructional experiences for students with significant support needs in inclusive contexts. Together, we will embark on a journey of educational innovation, equity, and inclusion. We will utilize the instructional framework of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as the primary vehicle for transforming classroom experiences and empowering learners for the 21st century.

This course will be co-facilitated by a pair of brothers both passionate about inclusion (watch their video!). EJ Smith will provide his expertise as an advocate for people with disabilities and as a person who received special education services and supports for his entire educational career. Zach Smith will provide his expertise as a former special education teacher, professional development facilitator, and district architect for rolling out Universal Design for Learning in Sanger Unified School District in California’s Central Valley.

Expect this experience to be both inspirational and challenging. Expect to come away with a new understanding of accessibility and its importance in the American preK-12 educational experience. All participants will be pushed to make assignments clear and accessible for both course facilitators. From Individual Education Plans (IEPs) to general education and special education partnerships, we will learn how to leverage the tools of today’s classroom in ways that empower and equip for high-quality learning for all! We are so excited to start this journey with you!

Click the link below to schedule a personalized, facilitated online course for your district.

At a Glance















Course Objectives


Learn how to use the instructional framework of Universal Design for Learning to design instructional experiences for students with intensive support needs.


Develop the skills needed for collaboration with multiple educational stakeholders for the educational benefit and well being of all students.

 Explore ways that empower learners to positively advocate for themselves when faced with inflexible learning environments and instructional design and discover the importance of developing a user perspective that can be applied to instructional design.
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About Your Instructors

Zach Smith is a passionate advocate for the power of inclusion to revolutionize the way teachers teach and being paramount for closing achievement gaps.  Growing up with siblings with disabilities, he saw first hand the impact of exclusionary instructional practices. After graduating from Fresno State, he started his career as a special education teacher, which he worked as for 8 years. Over the past 3 years, he has co-led the implementation of UDL for all teachers in his district.

Zach has extensive knowledge in UDL; presenting, coaching, planning, and building organizational capacity around this initiative. He received his M.A. and B.A. from Fresno State University and is a Doctoral Student at HGSE Ed.L.D Program.

Zach, lives with his wife and best friend Dorothy, as well as their four daughters.


EJHello…My name is EJ Smith and I went to high school at Bullard High School. It is good place to be because I remember how I started and also graduated. I was in leadership class for two years.

Break the Barriers is a great place to be and they have gymnastics, dance, Taekwondo, music, sign language for all abilities. I am on the performing travel team and have visited 7 countries to demonstrate abilities and inclusion. My first trip was to China with my brother. I have been to Dominican Republic, India, Peru, Australia, and The Philippines. We are going to Canada in October this year.

I was a volunteer at the VA hospital for 7 years. And it was good for me and I was working in the laundry to fold patient’s gowns, sorting clothes, folding towels and washcloths, and shaking pillowcases. That’s what I liked at the VA hospital.

Now, I am in Project SEARCH at Community Regional Medical Center. They are great workers, always helping me to learn new skills for working. I try to help them and I live with my parents. And I take care of the pets every night and I let dogs in the house and I fold all the laundry every day. I don’t like anyone else to help me do any jobs for me. I want to work at some place like the hospital when I am finished with Project SEARCH.


What to Expect


  • Eight online learning modules containing videos, resources, and weekly assignments and/or discussions.
  • Direct interaction and feedback from your instructor and the opportunity to build community with your classmates through course discussion boards.
  • Lots of options and choices - UDL is at the foundation of everything we do.
  • Participants will be expected to pass in work by the due date, but will also be given the opportunity to revise and improve upon their work (just as students in their class should be given the same respect using the UDL framework). 
  • All assignments can be resubmitted for feedback and grading up until the last day of the course.

Pricing Options

The fee listed above covers your course registration with Novak Educational Consulting. You may also choose to purchase graduate credits or clock hours (for Washington State teachers) at the time of registration. Bulk discounts are available on registration fees for groups of 3 or more. Please contact Lindie Johnson for details.

Course Certificates & Transcripts

As long as you receive a grade of C or better, you will receive a completion certificate from Novak Education at the conclusion of the course. Please check in with your school or district to determine if this alone will be sufficient for salary points or advancement. Some states require additional proof of completion such as clock hours, contact hours, or credits. Graduate credits (3 continuing education credits) may be obtained through our university partner.