Universally Designing
Systems of Support

Universally Designing Systems of Support

In response to practitioners and parents across California, we've designed three webinar series to strengthen the partnership between educators and parents/caregivers to support all learners. This academic year we will explore Accessibility, Individualized Education Plans, and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Process.

Jump to the Fall, Winter, and Spring Learning Series:

Spring Learning Series: Alternative Dispute Resolution

Session 1: Alternative Dispute Resolution: Options for Resolving Conflicts During the IEP Process

Monday, March 6, 2023 | 3:30 – 4:30 pm PT

What happens when the team approach at IEP meetings falls apart? Before resorting to formal mediation like “due process” hearings, there are other options for parties to resolve issues. This informational webinar for staff and parents will provide attendees with an overview of the Alternative Dispute Resolution process and how to keep decision-making in the hands of IEP team members. We will consider how Universal Design for Learning can play a role in supporting this process.

Link to slides: Coming soon!

Session 2: Alternative Dispute Resolution Through the Lens of Universal Design for Learning

Monday, March 13, 2023 | 3:30 – 4:30 pm PT

The closer parties involved in developing IEPs get to ADR or litigation, the closer they are to an outside party deciding the outcome. This webinar will feature a panel of guests who will look at ADR through the lens of UDL and the types of options for engagement, perception, and action and expression that can be used to maintain flexibility during the IEP process. What options and pathways will lead parties to aligning interests in the best interests of learners, and how can we keep communication open?

Link to slides: Coming soon!

Fall Learning Series: Accessibility from Assessment to Instruction

Session 1: How are Assessments Universally Designed?

Monday, September 12, 2022 | 3:30 – 4:30 pm PT

One of the earliest ways Universal Design was applied in education was through the creation of universally-designed state assessments. During this session, participants will learn how the dozens of available accessibility supports and variety of item types on assessments provide multiple means for student engagement, perception, and action & expression. Understanding how assessments are universally designed can inform the design of learning experiences that are equally, if not more, accessible.

Link to Slides: Fall Session 1

Session 2: Access for All in the Classroom

Monday, September 19, 2022 | 3:30 – 4:30 pm PT

Smarter Balanced offers three tiers of accessibility resources on its interim and summative assessments: universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations. These supports continue to increase in number and availability. During this webinar, participants will learn to access accessibility strategies in Tools for Teachers to understand the connection between accessibility on assessments and accessibility during instruction. A portion of the webinar will focus on new accessibility supports and strategies for English Learners.

Link to Slides: Fall Session 2

Session 3: Beyond Multiple Choice: Fostering Expert Learning

Monday, October 3, 2022 | 3:30 – 4:30 pm PT

The goal of Universal Design for Learning is to develop students who demonstrate expert learning; that is, they are purposeful and motivated,  resourceful and knowledgeable, and strategic and goal-directed. Today, students aren’t just completing multiple choice questions; rather, they must weigh decisions when given multiple choices.  This webinar wraps up the accessibility series and explores how offering options during instruction can support student agency and prepare them for increasingly complex and rigorous challenges in the classroom and during assessment.

Link to Slides: Fall Session 3

Winter Learning Series: Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

Session 1: UDL for Parents & Guardians

Monday, January 23, 2023 | 3:30 – 4:30 PM PT

Parents & guardians play an essential role in a student’s support team. In this session, we will provide an overview of UDL for caregivers and offer information to empower them to be the best advocates for their children in support of inclusion, access, and equity. For educators and administrators, we will invite you to consider: How might you universally redesign your IEP process in support of families? 

Link to Slides: UDL for Parent & Guardians

Session 2: Universally Designing the SST Processes

Monday, February 6, 2023 | 3:30 – 4:30 PM PT

A core concept of Universal Design for Learning is that the barrier is in the design, not the learner. In this session, participants will explore how to apply the lens of UDL to redesign a Student Study Team (SST) process. Using specific tools, we will explore the challenges of the traditional SST process that focuses exclusively on the student by flipping the script to examine challenges from a different perspective. We will follow up using a different approach that examines the materials, methods, assessments, and environment, in addition to looking at the assets and needs of the learner. An optional SST template will be provided to support universally designing your SST process.

Link to Slides: Universally Designing the SST Process 

Session 3: Universally Designing IEP Goals

Wednesday, February 15, 2023 | 3:30 – 4:30 PM PT

Setting clear, rigorous, and relevant goals is critical for all learners, especially for students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). In this session, we will use the UDL design process to develop goals for IEPs. We will look at setting goals that are clear, meaningful to the learner, and without the means embedded. Secondly, we will anticipate potential barriers in the curriculum and environment that might inhibit the learner from making progress toward those goals. Lastly, we will practice providing options to the learner that help minimize those barriers and support the learner to make progress toward their goals. Central to the entire process is incorporating student voice and agency in the design of their IEP goals so that they can become true experts in their own learning.

Link to slides: Coming soon!