The Universal Design for Learning Implementation and Research Network Logo

Summit Pre-Conference Sessions


Last year’s Pre-Conference Sessions were highly rated, and this year’s presenters will not disappoint! Take a look at the 2018 Pre-Conference line-up:

Morning Sessions

Designing for English Learners: The UDL Approach

Dr. Patti Kelly Ralabate and Dr. Loui Lord Nelson

How can we use UDL to design for the learner variability of English language learners (ELs)? Using a problem-based approach (e.g., the use of scenarios, protocols, and/or posed questions) embedded with time for self-reflection, participants will identify steps that will enhance their learning environments and lessons. By the end of the session, participants will (1) identify characteristics of linguistic variability associated with English language learning, and (2) develop at least three culturally responsive UDL-designed strategies to engage learners, represent information, and offer opportunities for action & expression.

Empowering Learners with the UDL Lens: Building a Personal Learning Backpack for Agency and Self-Advocacy

Kathleen McClaskey and Luis Perez

Self advocacy is a critical skill in becoming a life-long learner that is college and career ready. An expert learner is one who has agency and can self-advocate based on a good understanding of his or her strengths, challenges and personal interests. The goal of this workshop is to provide participants with a process and a set of practical tools that will guide every learner in developing self-advocacy skills through the application of the UDL lens (Access, Engage and Express) in order to create a more learner-centered classroom that emphasizes agency and self-regulation. 

Transforming High School Learning Environments: Year Four of Our UDL Journey

Dr. Elizabeth Berquist, Rene Sanchez, and Dr. Kirsten Omelan

The UDL Transforming High School Learning Environments (UDL-THSLE) project is a collaboration between César E. Chávez High School in Houston, Texas, the Region 4 (Texas) Educational Service Center (ESC), and All In, an education consultancy group. This pre-conference session will use a blended format to describe a multi-year Universal Design for Learning project through the lens of the UDL leadership team, made up of school administrators, teacher leaders, regional support staff and UDL coaches. This session will guide participants through the phases of UDL implementation, with a specific focus on integrating UDL into practice in a large, urban high school. Participants in this session will explore a variety of resources related to UDL implementation including classroom artifacts, teacher and student videos, school data, and professional learning materials.  

UDL 101


Are you new to UDL? Join us for an introduction to Universal Design for Learning (UDL). During this pre-conference, leaders from the UDL-IRN and CAST will team up to provide participants with an overview of UDL. We’ll explore the UDL principles, guidelines, and the underlying research. We’ll discuss how educators are intentionally designing learning opportunities to reduce barriers and meet the needs of diverse learners.

Afternoon Sessions

UDL Implementation in the PK-12 Math Classroom: Practical Applications for Monday’s Lessons

Amy McDonald and Harold Campbell

It is relatively simple to articulate the three core principles of UDL to PK-12 educators. Preparing them to apply these principles in meaningful and effective ways, however, can be difficult. This is especially the case the more one attends to the detailed guidelines they encompass or focuses on the teaching of a particular content area. In this pre-conference workshop, attendees will participate in several interactive, hands-on learning activities and be introduced to a wealth of evidence-based and research-based practical strategies for teaching mathematics, aligned to the UDL guidelines. The main objective is that attendees emerge from the workshop immediately capable of applying a variety of UDL-aligned strategies to their teaching of mathematics. The emphasis will be on how the flexible differentiation that UDL motivates can help all learners, especially those struggling or receiving services for disabilities, gain the access to quality mathematics learning at high levels they are often denied. 

#UDLrockstar Twitter Bootcamp

Mindy Johnson and Bryan Dean

You are a #UDLrockstar, so share like a #UDLrockstar using Twitter as your professional learning backup band. Whether you’re a Twitter novice or you have over 10,000 followers, this session will help you will take your UDL professional learning to the next level: Epic.

Teaching Executive Function Skills Across the Curriculum: A Starting Point for the UDL Classroom

Dr. Susan Simmons

This workshop will introduce you to neuroscience research and how they correlate to classroom applications in areas of executive function and memory consolidation. Participants will learn the basic neuroscience of learning resulting in the development of the executive function skills necessary for new information to become long term memory. The session will be divided into three sections; Understanding what happens in the brain process for new to learning to occur, teaching strategies based on neuroscience that support learning and, how these strategies fit into the UDL classroom. 

UDL Implementation for Administrators

Jennifer Levine

Are you sold on UDL and ready to start implementation? Come join us for an afternoon of learning, planning, and design. Analyze your school or system’s readiness; learn about systems and infrastructure to support UDL growth; create a plan for culture change in your school. This workshop will provide you with tools (and time!) to begin building your approach to school- and system-wide improvement. Recommended audience: District leaders, school principals and administrators, and instructional coaches.

*Please note that you can only attend one morning session and one afternoon session.

Save your seat! Register here.