Principles of Universal Design for Instruction

In addition to the seven principles that are adapted from the UD principles of the Center on Universal Design (CUD) at North Carolina State University, two additional principles are included: a community of learners and instructional climate. These additions were based on an extensive literature review on postsecondary instruction and reflect the social nature of learning environments that are critical to address during the course design process. The Center on Postsecondary Education and Disability at the University of Connecticut has provided a definition for each principle as it relates to the instructional environment.

Principle Definition
Equitable use Instruction is designed to be useful to and accessible by people with diverse abilities. Provide the same means of use for all students; identical whenever possible, equivalent when not.
Flexibility in use Instruction is designed to accommodate a wide range of individual abilities. Provide choice in methods of use.
Simple and intuitive Instruction is designed in a straightforward and predictable manner, regardless of the student's experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level. Eliminate unnecessary complexity
Perceptible information Instruction is designed so that necessary information is communicated effectively to the student, regardless of ambient conditions or the student's sensory abilities.
Tolerance for error Instruction anticipates variation in individual student learning pace and prerequisite skills.
Low physical effort Instruction is designed to minimize nonessential physical effort in order to allow maximum attention to learning.

Note: This principle does not apply when physical effort is integral to essential requirements of a course.

Size and space for approach and use Instruction is designed with consideration for appropriate size and space for approach, reach, manipulations, and use regardless of a student's body size, posture, mobility, and communication needs.
A community of learners The instructional environment promotes interaction and communication among students and between students and faculty.
Instructional climate Instruction is designed to be welcoming and inclusive. High expectations are espoused for all students.