Universal Design the Distinctions Between Udl A-Level Coursework

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¶ … Universal Design

The Distinctions Between UDL and AT in the Context of the Learner

The learner identified in the previous paper is Amos, a six-year-old kindergarten student who has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He is non-verbal and is often frustrated and prone to tantrums. He loves to draw but so far has not shown much interest in any other classroom activities. His social skills are extremely poor and he usually resists attempts by other children to be friendly and engage him in play. There are distinctions between universal design (UDL) and assistive technology (AT) as they apply to all learners in the kindergarten classroom and the specific needs of Amos.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: A-Level Coursework on Universal Design the Distinctions Between Udl and Assignment

UDL is used by a wide range of students, whereas AT is specifically considered for a particular individual with a disability whose needs are addressed by an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team. For example, free play is an important part of the kindergarten curriculum and offers students opportunities to make choices and interact with others. A kindergarten classroom with good universal design provides a variety of toys and activities so all children can find something of interest to enjoy alone or with classmates. Individuals like Amos, with an autism spectrum disorder, have difficulty with social communications, including social-emotional reciprocity, nonverbal communication such as facial expression and eye contact, and difficulty recognizing emotions, especially complex ones that require "mentalizing" (embarrassment, jealousy, sarcasm) in themselves and others (Bauminger, 2004; Capps, Yirmiya, & Sigman, 1992; Hiller & Allison, 2002, cited in Lacava, Golan, Baron-Cohen & Myles, 2007). A computer-based program called Emotion Trainer can be used with Amos to help him learn to recognize and respond to the emotions in others. This is important in Amos's classroom for the happiness of all children involved but for their safety, too. When a child has a toy Amos wants, he might grab it or even hit the other child, leaving the child in tears. Amos needs to learn that his actions can make others sad, angry or hurt; it is a first step towards more socially acceptable behavior.

In Amos's kindergarten classroom, students participate in various phonological activities to achieve learning outcomes as mandated by the state curriculum standards. The teacher uses a variety of methods to appeal to the range of learning styles in the classroom. The district has adopted Wilson's Fundations program, which has shared and independent activities using letter tiles, sound cards, stories and listen-and-echo elements. Independent of Fundations, the classroom teacher engages students in singing and movement activities, provides visuals around the room, and includes tactile experiences, such as tracing sandpaper letters with the fingers or making letters with clay. Like most students with autism, Amos has sensory issues and does not like to touch either sandpaper or clay. Sometimes he is engaged in the lesson and will echo a response, but if he is incorrect the children laugh and then he immediately becomes silly, doing what he can to make them laugh again.

Little research has been done with respect to autism and the use of assistive technology to support writing and spelling (Schlosser & Blischak, 2001) but initial studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of speech-generating devices (otherwise known as voice output communication aids) which provide students like Amos with both spoken and print feedback, as opposed to the use of non-electronic devices such as alphabet boards. The latter do not support students with autism nearly as well in development of letter recognition and spelling, nor do they provide the interaction with the teacher or paraprofessional that is so beneficial. Use of an SGD would be on the recommendation of the IEP team.


Lacava, P.G., Golan, O., Baron-Cohen, S., & Myles, B.S. (2007). Using assistive technology to teach emotion recognition to students with Asperger's Syndrome: A pilot study.

Remedial & Special Education 28(3), pp. 174-181.

Schlosser, R.W., & Blischak, D.M.

(2004). Effects of speech and print feedback on spelling by children with autism. Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research 47(4), pp. 848-

Task 2: Provide a summary of UDL and RTI. Explain how these models can be combined with AT to improve instructional delivery and reduce the need for exclusive special needs support.

Universal Design (UDL) optimizes learning for all students… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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