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Step UDL: Towards Inclusive and Successful Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles supporting the development of inclusive and accessible educational opportunities for all students, irrespective of their individual abilities or needs. In this lab, participants will explore with CRISPESH how this model can provide a flexible framework for understanding and responding to a wide variety of learner needs while supporting student success. A specific emphasis will be placed on the use of technology within this model.

In this session, participants will explore with Research Centre for the Educational and Professional Inclusion of Students with Disabilities (also known as CRISPESH) how Universal Design for Learning (UDL) can provide a flexible framework for understanding and responding to a wide variety of learner needs while supporting student success. A specific emphasis will be placed on the use of technology within this model.

We will have the pleasure to welcome four experts in the first session of this VTE laboratory:

  • Thomas Henderson, CRISPESH
    Thomas Henderson is the Director of the Research centre for the Educational and Professional Inclusion of Students with Disabilities (CRISPESH) at the Cégep du Vieux Montréal and Dawson College. For more than 20 years, he worked with people with developmental disabilities, specifically autism-spectrum disorders. His research and practice interests include universal design for learning,  social innovation in inclusion, autism, neuro-diversity, cognition, strength-based programming, self-advocacy, quality of life and self-determination.
  • Effie Konstantinopoulos, Learning Specialist, AccessAbility Centre, Dawson College
    Effie began her work as a Learning Specialist at Dawson College in the Winter 2011. Her mandate is to work with students, both with and without learning disabilities, who are having difficulty acquiring French as a second language. Prior to arriving at Dawson, she worked as a learning coach and diagnostician for over ten years. She has a Master’s degree In Educational Psychology, specialization in Inclusive Education. As of the Fall 2011, she has been fortunate to also collaborate with two faculty members of the French department. They have obtained release time to work on a specific project to research and gain an understanding of the impact of learning disabilities on learning French as a Second Language (FSL). This has led to a reevaluation of the course planning and teaching approach. Together with Effie, they have formed l’Équipe CLÉ, a team whose goal is to create inclusive classrooms by incorporating the UDL approach in teaching FSL at the college level.
  • Anika Maloni, Teacher and administrator at Centennial College
    Centennial is a private college located in Montreal Quebec. Its mission is to develop autonomous resilient learners through collaboration and innovation. In order to achieve this mission the College has adopted the philosophical framework of Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
    In supporting students’ academic success, the UDL framework guides Centennial College in designing programs, curriculum, courses, assessments and instructional content to meet the needs of all students. Centennial also uses technological tools to meet our goals through the specific and systematic use of Omnivox, Kurzweil, Dragon, and Powerpoint. UDL has helped shape services, pedagogical development and administrative and staff policies and procedures. UDL is Centennial’s framework for student success.
  • Roberta Thomson, Project Coordinator, UDL Faculty Toolkit, McGill University
    Roberta is a strong believer in the power of assistive technology to transform lives and educational environments as well as an advocate for Universal Design for Learning (UDL). She is a course instructor at McGill University/LaSalle College and has been actively involved in creating active learning and accessible classrooms. One of the courses she teaches at McGill is on assistive technology (AT) – including UDL in the Certificate of Inclusive Education program. She has a wide knowledge base of a variety of technologies/AT and the best practices for their implementation in classroom settings as well as UDL. She has recently begun working as the Project Coordinator for the Chantier 3 Grant from Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie (MERSRT) of Québec whose focus is a collaborative endeavor with five post-secondary Montreal area institutions – Centennial College, Dawson College, John Abbott College, Marianopolis College and McGill University as the lead.
More specifically the following topics will be covered:
  • Introduction and polling of the participants.
  • Presenting the UDL framework and principles via increasingly accessible and inclusive means.
  • Variability matters.
  • Facilitators.
  • Reflection on barriers.
  • Questions.
  • How about participating in a short collaborative practical guide of Universal Design for Learning?

Looking forward to seeing you online!

 

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