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Curb Cuts in Cyberspace: Universal Instructional Design for Online Courses


Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability Volume 24, Number 3,


College courses that include universal design features can minimize the need to provide accommodations for students with disabilities and make courses accessible to students from diverse backgrounds. This article examines how principles of Universal Instructional Design (UID) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) can be incorporated into an online course to accommodate an increasingly diverse body of students in postsecondary institutions. The authors designed and implemented a graduate-level online course that incorporated UID guidelines and met UDL principles. To evaluate the universally-designed course elements, students were surveyed and interviewed during and after the course. This case study describes the universal design features that can be included in an online course and highlights the features that students valued. The authors conclude with considerations for course designers who seek to include universal design features in online courses. (Contains 4 tables and 2 figures.)


Rao, K. & Tanners, A. (2011). Curb Cuts in Cyberspace: Universal Instructional Design for Online Courses. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 24(3), 211-229. Retrieved July 10, 2020 from .

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