A Policy Reader in Universal Design for Learning

A Policy Reader in Universal Design for Learning

Edited by David T. Gordon, Jenna W. Gravel, and Laura A. Schifter, foreword by Martha L. Minow
paper, 256 Pages
Pub. Date: November 2009
ISBN-13: 978-1-934742-38-9
Price: $32.00

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This policy reader comprises a notably wide range of articles that address the challenges and opportunities facing policy makers as they consider UDL’s implications for federal, state, and local policy.


The use of UDL principles will ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to learn. These principles are not only helpful for students with disabilities but they benefit all students by increasing understanding and engagement. An important discussion of needed policy changes, A Policy Reader in Universal Design for Learning will help us incorporate these valuable elements into teaching diverse learners. — Dennis Van Roekel, president, National Education Association

This is a must-read collection for all those who want to understand the genesis and evolution of policy thinking about universal design for learning. One of the most exciting developments in pedagogy in a quarter century, UDL is an essential tool to improving teacher preparation, curriculum design, classroom instruction and assessments. This is a definitive work. — Madeleine Will, former U.S. assistant secretary of education; parent advocate

UDL has the capacity to profoundly remake our education system. This book is an essential primer on UDL and an exhortation for deployment of UDL into the mainstream of education policy. — Stephen P. Crosby, dean, McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston

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About the Editors

David T. Gordon is director of communications at CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology), where he is helping to launch a National Center on Universal Design for Learning. At Harvard University (1999–2004), he edited the award-winning Harvard Education Letter, winning a National Press Club Award for distinguished reporting and analysis of the national board certification program for teachers. He has been a college writing instructor at Emerson College (1998–1999) and a staff editor, writer, and researcher for Newsweek (1989–1997). Gordon is the editor of three previous books for Harvard Education Press, including A Nation Reformed? American Education 20 Years after A Nation at Risk.

Jenna W. Gravel is a research associate and instructional designer at CAST, where she has played a central role in the development of CAST’s UDL Guidelines. Her expertise in education policy and her experience in special education serve as a foundation for her work. Before joining CAST, Jenna was a middle school inclusion specialist in Malden, Massachusetts and a staff assistant for the Federation for Children with Special Needs in Boston, an advocacy group for parents of children with disabilities. She is certified in special education from preK–12. She earned an MEd in education policy and management from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA in government and Spanish from Colby College.

Laura A. Schifter is a doctoral candidate in the Education Policy, Leadership, and Instructional Practice program at Harvard Graduate School of Education where she is studying the experiences of and policies related to students with disabilities. Prior to attending Harvard, Laura served as an education fellow for Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in Washington, DC and taught elementary school in San Francisco. Laura earned an MEd in mind, brain, and education from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA in American studies from Amherst College.

Special Education and the Stimulus, a blog post by editor David Gordan

Table of Contents (PDF)

Foreword by Martha L. Minow (PDF)

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