We believe the traditional one-size-fits all model of education is outdated and broken. We believe our future is directly tied to the next generation of learners.  We believe in the power of networking all education stakeholders.

Our mission is to support the design of future ready learning environments that are equitable, beneficial, and meaningful for all learners.

We believe this is done through the purposeful alignment of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework.  To support this mission we are engaged in the following activities:

  • Encouraging interdisciplinary research and understanding.
  • Supporting the dissemination and implementation of best practices.
  • Promoting increased networking and collaboration across all education stakeholders.


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.

  • In 2010, a group of 20 people concerned about the scaled implementation of UDL as a way to design better learning environments met for a weekend to discuss issues surrounding implementation and research.
  • In 2011, UDL-IRN was incorporated to advance our mission and continue its work with handful of dedicated volunteers.
  • In 2012-2013, we had variety of informal face-to-face and online gatherings around how to advance implementation and research in the design of better learning environments.
  • In 2014, we hosted our first Annual International Summit at John Hopkins University.
  • In 2015, the UDL-IRN became a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
  • In 2016, we hired our first employees and partnered with our colleagues at CAST and the UDL National Taskforce as lead partners on the UDL Credentialing & Certification Initiative (UDLCCI).
  • In 2017, because of continual growth the Annual International Summit moved from donated university space to a hotel convention center to accommodate attendees from 35+ states and 18+ countries.  
  • In 2018, we plan to launch the UDLCCI platform to support continued learning engagement and community development around the design of more meaningful learning environments.