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Universal Design - Faculty Research

Universal Design for Learning – Faculty Research Initiative

The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) has recently received a grant from La Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie (MESRST) for the development of a pedagogical online toolkit to facilitate the implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) on campus. The grant is the result of a Chantier 3 application by a collaborative partnership which brings together four CEGEPS (Marianopolis, Centennial, John Abbott and Dawson) with McGill as lead institution. The Chantier 3 grant obtained the top rating out of 63 applications made across the province.  More information can be found in a recent article in the McGill Reporter.

Cartoon showing tests are not always fair and by design favour some over others

UDL is a set of principles for curriculum development that gives all students equal opportunities to learn.

UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone – not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs, including students from underrepresented groups such as Indigenous students, students with diverse learning styles and diverse ethnic backgrounds.

UDL promotes sustainable pedagogical tools and is closely aligned with the current drive for sustainability on post-secondary campuses. UDL has therefore been adopted into McGill’s Vision 2020 objectives.

UDL appears as part of McGill’s Vision 2020 objectives and it is through the implementation of the core pedagogical principles of UDL, that equal access for a diverse student population is widened, facilitating inclusion, and this is closely aligned with the current drive for sustainability on post-secondary campuses. Sustainable pedagogical practices seek to widen access while reducing the need for costly retrofitting to accommodate individual student needs.

The Chantier 3 project, which will span three academic years, will establish an interactive dialogue with instructors of all backgrounds and across all faculties, in order to determine with great specificity how best to support teaching staff in their exploration of access in pedagogy. The project will lead to the creation of a sustainable, bilingual, online tool kit to support faculty in the implementation of UDL principles in their pedagogical practices, which will be showcased and used across the province. 

Research interviews have been completed. Please return to this webpage for project updates as we proceed in Year 2 (December 2014-December 2015)

To learn more about Universal Design for Learning, please consider attending McGill’s conference,  May 20-22, 2015 Universal Design for Learning: Canadian Perspectives: Sowing the Seeds, Facilitating the Change, Nurturing the Growth



As of January 5th, 2015: Total of 77

Interviews Completed


Centennial College




Marianopolis College




Joh Abbott College


McGill University 21


Dawson College




For more information please contact the project coordinator roberta [dot] thomson2 [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Roberta Thomson)

You can also follow this project on Twitter @UDLChantier3

For further information about UDL please consult any resources and links on the Faculty Resources webpages.

For Faculty Links

Universal Design.

Faculty Research.

Screen Readers and P D F files

Faculty Resources.

Workshop Requests

Video Resources.

Ten tips for U D L