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A Historic Milestone: Senate Resolution 723 Recognizes 40 Years of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Monday, 17 June 2024 11:45 AM

CAST

Topic:
Awards

BOSTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / June 17, 2024 / CAST, a trailblazer in educational innovation, proudly commemorates a historic milestone: the recognition of 40 years of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) by the U.S. Senate through the passage of Senate Resolution 723. This landmark resolution celebrates UDL's transformative impact in making education more inclusive and accessible for all learners, highlighting its pivotal role in professional development for educators and breaking down barriers to learning for all individuals.

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"This resolution is not just a recognition of the past 40 years but a beacon for the future of education," stated Lindsay Jones, CEO of CAST. "It highlights the relentless efforts of our UDL community to ensure that every learner has the opportunity to succeed. We are immensely grateful to our champions in the Senate, Senator Hassan and Senator Casey, for their unwavering support."

Significance of Senate Resolution 723

Senate Resolution 723 acknowledges Universal Design for Learning's remarkable contributions over the past four decades. Key highlights include:

  • Professional Development: UDL's integral role in training educators.
  • Expanding Access: Commitment to educational and employment opportunities for all, especially those historically marginalized.
  • Innovative Practices: Groundbreaking research and widespread adoption of UDL principles across the U.S.

According to Pew Research, in the United States, 48.9 million people have at least one form of disability, facing limitations in accessibility from physical to mental impairments. In public K-12 schools, approximately 7.3 million students with disabilities made up 15% of national public school enrollment during the 2021-22 school year.

ADA Title II Updates and Requirements

In April 2024, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a final rule mandating that digital learning resources meet WCAG 2.1 Level AA standards by 2026 or 2027. "Online learning materials and apps need to be usable by every student. These new requirements provide a detailed roadmap to help schools make that a reality," said Skip Stahl, Senior Policy Analyst at CAST.

Impact on Schools

Schools must now ensure students with disabilities can access digital information and participate in activities with the same ease as their peers. This includes adhering to the four principles of WCAG: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust (POUR). These regulations apply to all web-based and app-based mediums that impact student opportunity, including:

  • Curriculum materials
  • School-parent communication systems
  • Online assessments
  • Course registration and grading systems

Resources for Support

UDL is interwoven throughout the 2024 National Education Technology Plan as a reaffirmation of accessibility guarantees in special education and civil rights law. The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials at CAST (AEM Center) offers extensive resources to support schools in meeting these new requirements, including:

  • Quality Indicators for the Provision of Accessible Educational Materials and Technologies
  • Online courses, webinars, and assessment tools
  • CAST Figuration, a framework for building accessible interactive websites

To learn more about CAST's mission and Universal Design for Learning (UDL), visit our website at www.cast.org and contact Kisha Barton, Senior Director of Communications, at [email protected].

Contact Information

Kisha Barton
Senior Director of Communications
[email protected]
(347) 720-5099

Related Files

Senate Resolution 723 - Recognizes 40 Years of Universal Design for Learning

SOURCE: CAST

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View the original press release on newswire.com.

Topic:
Awards
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