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What are the Benefits of Universal Design in Education?

What are the Benefits of Universal Design in Education?

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About This Lesson

Though always considered morally sound practices, diversity and inclusion initiatives haven’t always been at the top of everyone’s list when they first begin a business, nonprofit, or educational facility. In addition to the morality, however, more and more data is being collected relating a diverse and inclusive work environment to a very successful company.

The same goes for educational facilities, where students who feel accepted not only have a better time (important as youngsters), but also learn better, lead better, and cultivate more lasting relationships with their classmates. As this knowledge becomes more well known, so do the benefits of universal design, which are educational plans that adhere to a wide variety of students, including those with neurodiversity differences, cultural differences, and technological abilities due to income.

In addition to addressing those differences just mentioned, there are several other ways that universal design in education aims to benefit the absolute most students a given educational initiative can. Here are a few of the benefits.

Physical Accommodation

Universal design does not start and end with a curriculum aimed at serving a wide breadth of students with different learning styles and cultures. It does do these things, but it also aims to allow children of all different physical capabilities to have access to everything and everything that everyone else has access to.

As many schools are still online, a lol of physical accommodation in “the now” involves connectivity for all students, and a guarantee that these students have all appropriate technological access to ensure a fair shot at their remote education in relation to classmates who may have parents with better access to tech. Other aspects of physical accommodation relative to classroom management and universal design involve options for hearing and vision impaired students, ensuring they get the same access to resources.

For the post-COVID times, physical accommodation involves things like wheelchair access, aid with carrying books and supplies, proper keyboards, and options for folks who learn better in seclusion. In a sense, universal design options should allow students who thrived at home to be able to mimic that environment at the place of learning.

Neurodiversity

All forms of diversity are important when creating an inclusive learning environment, but fortunately, cultural and racial inclusion are much more normal in school curriculums today then they were a decade ago, and though much work needs to be done, a new type of diversity is garnering a lot of focus, and for good reason. Feelings of inferiority in minors lead to a lot of issues well beyond school, and often these feelings stem from systems set up to only reward “the smart kids.” News flash: book smarts aren’t the only kinds of smarts, and focuses on neurodiversity help children who may not grasp calculus right away focus on the things they do grasp, as well as spreading a universal understanding that there is no “right” when it comes to neurological makeups. Preaching neurodiversity and setting up an educational environment that allows all students to feel pride in their strengths can set up children for a lifetime of success no matter their cognitive design.

Social Integration

Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of a successful universal design in education is the integration, acceptance, and realized equality of people from every walk of life in a given locale. For big cities, this normally means, literally, people from every single culture, race, gender, neuro-makeup, sexuality, size, abilities, and so on. This translates to college (generally more diverse than a given high school), as well as the workforce and beyond, and a society that understands, appreciates, and empowers differences is a society that succeeds together.

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