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UDL Pilot

In 2002, Renton Technical College began a Pilot project using Universal Design for Learning in several classrooms to try to help students with learning difficulties become more successful students. A cross departmental team was put together comprised of 7 instructors from a variety of classrooms, two staff from Information Services, the Special Needs Counselor, Learning Specialist Counselor and a project coordinator from the Instructional Improvement Office. The Dean of Basic Studies provided oversight to the project. In the second and third years of the grant, more instructors volunteered and were selected as enthusiasm over the results of UDL grew. In 2005, the Department of Education granted an additional 3 years to include ALL students with disabilities and to expand to other colleges in the State of Washington. 

Instructors participating in the Project are trained in topics such as learning disabilities, brain based learning, Universal Design for Learning, assistive technology and learning strategies. They are helped with using assistive and multi modal technologies for their classrooms.

In addition, the UDL project developed a Learning Assessment web-program that helps students identify learning barriers and preferences, and suggests learning strategies. This program also gives the instructor reports on the types of learning concerns and learning preferences in the classroom so that instructional delivery can be modified to meet the needs of the class.

Two other colleges, The Institute of Extended Learning, part of the Community Colleges of Spokane, and Bates Technical College , began participation in the UDL project in 2005.

More indepth information on the UDL project can be found at the Instructional Improvement website’s UDL grant section at http://webs.rtc.edu/ii/dsdp.html