The universal design approach is to create products and/or environments that are designed, from the outset, to accommodate individuals with a wider range of abilities and disabilities than can be accommodated by traditional applications. With UDL, technology is used to create curriculum and environments that, by design, lack traditional barriers to learning. For example, multimedia curriculum provides digital, universally designed media that offers diverse options for viewing and manipulating content and expressing knowledge. Within UDL, fewer students face barriers to learning, for example; text to speech reduces decoding barriers for students with dyslexia; digital images and video with closed captioning provides alternative representations reducing barriers for students with language-based disabilities and for students who are blind or deaf; and keyboard alternatives may reduce barriers in navigation and control for students with physical disabilities. These UDL solutions have the advantage of enhancing learning for many different kinds of students.
Rose, D.H., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the digital age: Universal Design for Learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Hitchcock, C., Stahl, S. (2003). Assistive Technology, Universal Design, Universal Design for Learning: Improved Learning Opportunities. Journal of Special Education Technology.
Burgstahler, S. E. (n.d.). Universal Design in Higher Education: Promising Practices. doi:https://www.washington.edu/doit/sites/default/files/atoms/files/Universal Design in Higher Education_Promising Practices_0.pdf