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Universal Design for Learning: Impact on Policy, Practice, and Partnerships for Inclusive Education

A Global Education Summit side-event |  July 26, 2021

Universal Design for Learning

Impact on policy, practice, and partnerships for inclusive education

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) has gained international attention as a promising framework for reducing barriers to education and developing quality learning for all. This session will share practical, solution-oriented insights from across the globe from classrooms, school and community systems, policymakers, and researchers working to share best practices in the real-world application of UDL. Participants will have the opportunity to hear insights on UDL from each of these vantage points as well as engaging in deeper discussion on areas of interest via breakout sessions. Participants are invited to contribute to a Call to Action paper to guide UDL implementation in inclusive educational development initiatives. 


The 90-minute session will include: a 5-minute welcome and orientation; a 40-minute introductory overview with 10 minutes given to each vantage point; a 30-minute, small-group break-out forum for participants to explore their specific interests in depth; and a 15-minute, full-group call-to-action summary of the event.

Discussion Themes/ Breakouts


An overview of emerging research on the impact of UDL worldwide, including needs for further investigation.  Breakout session will include guidelines for overcoming obstacles to conducting research in low-resource environments.


 International/ Local policy development.   Examples and steps that have been taken to improve national, provincial and local educational policies,  why this needs to be developed, and concrete steps that can be taken to development. The session will also include an overview of the recently published IDA technical paper on UDL.


Sharing of best practices and practical experience in implementing UDL in school systems – focusing on the process of systems change.  Central focus will be on low-resourced environments – why UDL is critical in these environments, the intersection between the UDL framework and the environment (e.g., guidelines that don’t match up with the realities of the environment), examples of implementation and conversations about expert learning.


Insights from students and teachers in classrooms implementing UDL, with examples of  pre-service and in-service training for teachers.  The session will focus on how UDL is critical to the creation of equitable learning opportunities with concrete examples from current classrooms.


Session Host

Leah Myers Bitat, Algeria Country Representative, World Learning, Algeria

Room 1 : Research

Prof Judith McKenzie, Director Including Disability in Education in Africa (IDEA), University of Cape Town, South Africa

Sian Tesni, Global Advisor for Education CBM, Wales, UK

Dr Amani Karisa (Postdoctoral fellow), Including Disability in Education in Africa (IDEA), University of Cape Town, South Africa

NIck Hoekstra, Graduate Research Assistant, University of Kansas, USA

Room 2 : Policy

Emily Vargas-Barón, RISE Institute, Director, USA

Sue Swenson, President, Inclusion International/IDA Inclusive Education Task Team, USA

Anne Hayes COO, Inclusive Development Partners, USA

Room 3 : Systems

Loui Lord Nelson, Ph.D, Founder – Director, The UDL Approach, USA

Golnar Abedin, Ph.D. Inclusive Education Consulting, Clinical Faculty, Johns Hopkins School of Education, Washington, D.C., USA

Room 4 : Classrooms

Yacine Hakmi, Senior STEM Education Specialist, Algeria 

Achraf Meguellati, Senior STEM Education Specialist, Algeria

Hayley Niad, Inclusive Development Partners Researcher, USA

Asana Abdulai, Classroom Teacher, West Gonja District, Ghana

Final session

Organizers and Partners

We invite you to participate in GPE-UDL side event on July 26th, 2021.

The GPE-UDL side event will take place virtually, allowing for a large and broad audience participation.

We look forward to you joining us.