The Universal Design for Learning Implementation and Research Network Logo

About the UDL-IRN

After successfully working in education reform and innovation efforts, James (Jamie) Basham (a professor) and Jeff Diedrich (an education leader) wanted to advance understanding and practice of UDL across the global education space. What emerged was a grassroots and network-based effort to promote the design of research-based learning environments.

The Universal Design for Learning Implementation and Research Network (UDL-IRN) supports the scaled implementation and research related to Universal Design for Learning. Through collaboration, we support and promote the identification and development of models, tools, research, and practices designed to foster effective UDL implementation in educational environments. We encourage and welcome participation in these discussions.

Board of Directors

James Basham

James Basham

Chair and CEO

James D. Basham, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas. He is also the cofounder and CEO of the Universal Design for Learning Implementation and Research Network (UDL-IRN). His research is focused on the implementation of UDL, learner-centered design, innovation, and technology in human learning. Dr. Basham is well published, given hundreds of talks, and serves on various boards for journals, companies, and organizations.

Sue Hardin.png



Susan Hardin, OTR, MS, is the Assistive Technology Consultant and UDL Coordinator at Macomb Intermediate School District in Michigan. She designs and conducts professional development opportunities for general and special educators, across grade levels and content areas and speaks on the topic of assistive technology and Universal Design For Learning at local, statewide and national conferences. Her primary area of interest is the integration of good technology into curriculum to support the learning needs of all students. Susan has served on many state and national boards related to technology and special education, including ISTE’s Inclusive Learning Network, MACUL and the UDL Implementation and Research Network (IRN).

Trey VasquezTrey Vasquez III


Dr. Vasquez is an associate professor for the Department of Child, Family, and Community Sciences Exceptional Education Program at the University of Central Florida, as well as an iSTEM Fellow and affiliate faculty of Lockheed Martin UCF Academy. His current research focuses on the evaluation of academic and behavioral outcomes for students with autism using technology to enhance instruction. His research has expanded from K-12 schools to postsecondary institutions and other venues to prepare students who are traditionally marginalized for careers in STEM related fields.

Steve NordmarkSteve Nordmark

Board Member

Steve Nordmark is a consultant and nonprofit leader. Steve serves as the UDL-IRN’s COO, leading the multi-phase, field change initiative – UDL Credentialing and Certification Initiative. Steve is also the founder of Learning Community Insight LLC focused on UDL and Competency-based Learning and a Technical Assistance Specialist at CAST’s Accessible Educational Materials Center.

Bryan DeanBryan

Board Member

Bryan Dean is an instructional designer for a large intermediate school district overseeing 30 smaller public schools. He is Lead Project and Professional Learning Designer for the Oakland (MI) Schools UDL Project. Recently, he has become a member of the CAST UDL PL Cadre, facilitated a week-long intensive UDL workshop series at Harvard, and started a national podcast series focusing on UDL and 21st-century literacies. He is happily a Positive Deviant and Agent of Disruption in bringing systemic change to education.

Operations Team






UDL-IRN Secretary


UDL-IRN Volunteer


UDL-IRN Network Engagement Manager

Advisory Board Members

Elizabeth (“Liz”) Berquist, Ed.D.

David Davis

Jim Gardner, Ph.D.

Aleksandra Hollingshead, Ed.D.

Alisa Lowrey, Ph.D.

Matthew Marino, Ph.D., Senior Advisor to CEO and Board

Loui Lord Nelson, Ph.D.

Sean Joseph Smith, Ph.D.

George Van Horn, Ed.D.

Kavita Rao, Ph.D.

David Reid

Sharon Grady

Operations Committee Leaders

EdTech Industry: Steve Nordmark

Global Learning: Rachel Brody and Loui Lord Nelson

Professional Learning: Sue Hardin

Research: Kavita Rao

Summit 2021: McKenzie Nicholis

Special Interest Group Leaders

UDL Implementation: Cherie Smith, Elizabeth Stark

Higher Education: Eric Moore, Jodie Black, Anne Marie Ristow