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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Universal Design for Learning?

According to the Higher Education Opportunity Act (2008), Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice that:

  1. provides flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways students are engaged; and
  2. reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports, and challenges, and maintains high achievement expectations for all students, including students with disabilities and students who are limited English proficient.

Why UDL?

Increased state (CA Statewide Task Force on Special Education, 2015/2015b/2015c) and federal (United States Congress, 2015) emphasis aside, the “why” behind UDL lies in the purpose of education. Peter Senge, an organizational leadership guru from MIT states:

“The purpose of education is to allow me to become me in the context of society and the community in which I live… …so I can truly contribute to my society.” (Senge, 2012)

In order to systemically address the complex learner variability existing in every classroom, Tier I instruction must be flexible and proactive in its support of all students. Universal Design for Learning is an iterative, evidence-based framework intended to provide learners options in the ways that they engage with, receive, and express knowledge.

How is LACOE supporting individuals, schools, and districts in their implementation of UDL?

Inclusive Design, part of LACOE’s Division of Curriculum and Instructional Services, has developed the Universal Design for Learning Academy (UDLA), a multi-tiered system of support for UDL implementation. These supports are detailed in Appendix A and include curated resources, online courses, in-person workshops, and blended cohorts.

I want to implement UDL in my school. If I send five teachers to a 2-day training, they’ll be able to come teach the rest of my teachers, right?

Folks familiar with implementing UDL like to say that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Like any professional development workshop, the key is follow-up after the training event takes place. How will those teachers be supported in their implementation? Do their coaches and evaluators possess sufficient knowledge of UDL to support the teachers in furthering their learning? How motivated are the teachers to implement this or any training?

We recommend that schools and districts seeking to implement UDL have some key components in place before moving into training. These include:

  • A shared vision for an inclusive instructional environment
  • Support for UDL implementation in the LCAP
  • An action plan for professional development that includes:
    • Supports for administrators, including training, walkthrough tools, and resources for incorporating UDL into their systems.
    • Coaching and collaboration supports for teachers
  • A communication plan that shares information with, and solicits feedback from, all stakeholder groups in a variety of formats, so that the messages are more likely to be received and all voices have a chance to be heard.

I see you have in-person workshops. Can you come to my school or district and give the same workshop to my teachers/coaches/etc.?

In-person workshops can be delivered locally. Inclusive Design would provide a facilitator and basic materials, while the hosting organization would provide the location, technology, any necessary texts, registration support, and would communicate workshop details to the intended participants. The base cost for these workshops is $1750/day for up to 50 people. Larger groups require an additional facilitator.

We want to enroll numerous staff members in online course work. Do you offer group rates?

Yes, we do. Our self-paced course, UDL: Getting Started, is offered according to the following tiered pricing index:

Participants Price per Participant
1 - 20 $150
21 - 50 $135
51 - 100 $110
> 100 $100

For our moderated courses, we have a “whole class” option, allowing for up to 20 learners with a dedicated moderator to take either Teaching with UDL or Supporting UDL for a flat rate of $6,000, which is up to 40% reduction when compared to the single enrollment cost of $500/person.

How can I find out more information about courses, group enrollment, etc.?

For more information, please contact:

Dr. James McKenna
Coordinator II
(562) 922-6651


CA Statewide Special Education Task Force. (2015b). Evidence-Based Practices Subcomittee Report. Sacramento: CDE.

CA Statewide Task Force on Special Education. (2015). One System: Reforming Education to Serve All Students. Sacramento: CDE.

CA Statewide Task Force on Special Education. (2015c). Educator Preparation Subcomittee Report. Sacramento: CDE.

Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315). (2008).

Senge, P. (2012, 4 4). Peter Senge on the Future of Education. Retrieved from YouTube:

United States Congress. (2015, 12 10). Every Students Succeeds Act. Retrieved from