Universal Design in Education: Teaching Nontraditional Students

By Frank G. Bowe | Go to book overview

Chapter 4
Principles One and Two

PRINCIPLE ONE: EQUITABLE USE

Definition: The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.

Universal design will only be accepted by non-disabled persons if it somehow meets their needs as well as those of people with disabilities. Accordingly, providing the same services to disabled and non-disabled users, insofar as this is possible, is important. An added benefit of this approach is that people with special needs are not segregated or placed apart from people with no special needs.


Guideline 1a: Provide the same means of use for all users: identical whenever possible; equivalent when not.

In general, educators should teach nontraditional students in the same ways they teach traditional students, unless one or more of the nontraditional students requests something different. This is not to say that teachers should not alter the ways in which they teach all students. They should. I have found it useful, for example, to prepare all of my lectures on disk and to copy that disk (if no student requests it, at least I have a back-up of work that consumed several hours of my time). I tell all my students that this information is available to them: I have no way of knowing which, or how many, students who do not have disabilities nonetheless prefer to listen to, rather than or in addition to reading, materials.

I also tell them that much of what they need to research, and read, is available either on my Web site or on other sites that are hot-linked to my Web page. The point is that I make these things available to the traditional as well as the nontraditional students, in a nondiscriminatory way. When I cannot provide the same information in the same ways to all my students, I try to

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Universal Design in Education: Teaching Nontraditional Students
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction and Executive Summary 1
  • Chapter 1 - Diverse Students 7
  • Chapter 2 - Seven Principles of Universal Design 23
  • Chapter 3 - Universally Designed Education 45
  • Chapter 4 - Principles One and Two 63
  • Chapter 5 - Principles Three and Four 73
  • Chapter 6 - Principles Five and Six 85
  • Chapter 7 - Principle Seven 91
  • Chapter 8 - Web Site Accessibility 99
  • Chapter 9 - Summary 107
  • Appendix A - Instructional Media 111
  • Appendix B - Resources 119
  • References 125
  • Index 131
  • About the Author 134
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