Origins of UDL

UDL is also known by two other names; Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) and Universal Instructional Design (UID). It is guided by a set of principles. The earliest source of establishing principles in support of creating universal learning environments comes from the work of Chickering and Gamson, who originally had published the following principles:

1. encourages contact between students and faculty,
2. develops reciprocity and cooperation among students,
3. encourages active learning,
4. gives prompt feedback,
5. emphasizes time on task,
6. communicates high expectations, and
7. respects diverse talents and ways of learning

These principles were further enhanced and took on a slightly different language in their combination with Universal Design at North Carolina State University. Universal Design is a movement that began in the late 1960's with the work of Ron Mace. Ron Developed a set of principles to guide the design of buildings to be more accessible to those with mobility limitations i.e. handicapped. Through Ron's work he discovered that making buildings more accessible to those with permanent mobility limitations, actually made spaces more accessible to all users of that space. This led eventually to changes in building code laws across the States, and can be credited with having an important role in the "accessibility movement". Ron Mace's original principles of Universal Design are as follows Center for Universal Design, NCSU:

1. Equitable Use
2. Flexibility in Use
3. Simple and intuitive
4. Perceptible Information
5. Tolerance for Error
6. Low Physical Effort
7. Size and Space for Approach and Use

By combining the work of Chickering and Gamson with the principles of Universal Design, the original set of principles that evolved were called "Principles of Universal Design for Instruction", and were as follows UID Homepage - UofG:

1. Accessible and Fair (equitable) use
2. Flexibility in Use, Participation and Presentation
3. Straightforward and Consistent
4. Information is explicitly presented and readily perceived
5. Supportive Learning Environment
6. Minimize or eliminate unnecessary physical effort or requirements
7. Learning space accommodates both students and methods