Shauna Hanna

A Positive, Inclusive Pathway to UDL

It’s almost time! The sixth UDL-IRN International Summit takes place in Orlando, Florida from 27-29 March. Under the banner of ‘Learning Designed for Everyone’, this key event brings together educators and researchers from around the globe to share conversations, network and celebrate the transformative power of learner-focused education. Catch up with what Sue Hardin will be bringing to the conference.

At Texthelp we’re proud Summit supporters – and ahead of the event we caught up with some of this year’s participants to hear what’s on their minds.

Susan Hardin is Universal Design for Learning Coordinator at Macomb ISD in Michigan. As well as designing and providing professional learning opportunities she facilitates district level support on UDL implementation and systems change. In addition, Sue serves on several state and national boards focused on technology and UDL, including the UDL-IRN, ISTE’s Inclusive Learning Network and and Michigan’s state technology organization, MACUL.

In her ‘End of Average’ talk on Friday March 29 at 1.15pm – titled Advice Not Given: Building Inclusive Professional Learning Communities – Sue will ask how we can make every educator’s pathway to UDL success the positive, inclusive experience it should be.   

Listening and learning

"The critical need to address diversity in the classroom means UDL is more vital now than ever before” argues Sue, “yet for some educators, getting started with UDL can feel overwhelming.” In Orlando she’ll be exploring how UDL leaders can respond positively to the concerns of educators who are struggling during the integration phase of adoption that’s critical to its successful implementation:

“We need to ask ourselves some important questions” Sue notes. “Are we really listening and offering support when educators express their frustrations with the complexities of UDL? And are we quick to dismiss them with a ’nope, it’s not UDL yet’ response when they’re still learning about the framework?”

Sue asks us to consider how we can actively welcome everyone’s incremental steps to build UDL implementation success. In this collaborative session, she’ll un-pack how our implicit biases influence UDL adoption, and how these biases can be positively managed. As Sue explains: “I’ll be asking how we can apply what we know about learner variability to build professional learning communities that harness teachers’ passions, celebrate educator diversity and capitalize on small, incremental change.”

“Together, we’ll explore how professional learning – co-designed to honor teacher agency and built with multiple on-ramps – gives all educators a path to successful UDL implementation.”

See the full programme for this year’s UDL-IRN International Summit here.


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