CBM and its partner the University of Cape Town have just published a review of Universal Design Learning (UDL) in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs). With this review we hope to gather evidence to inform the development of capacity-building resources and materials for UDL in LMICs.
CBM acknowledges the importance of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a framework for implementing inclusive education but recognises the minimal evidence and guidance on how to effectively implement UDL in low-middle-income-countries (LMICs). Without this deeper knowledge, promotion of and training in this approach may be premature. Therefore, CBM commissioned the Including Disability in Education in Africa (IDEA) unit at the University of Cape Town (UCT) to review current UDL practices, training needs and relevant online resources in LMICs.
Similar to inclusive education, UDL is often viewed as an approach only for the inclusion of learners with disabilities. However, it is a practice aimed at the inclusion of all learners, irrespective of the kind of barriers to learning that they face. UDL recognises that everyone learns differently and is an instructional strategy that can address systemic inequality and discrimination, which may arise from an intersectionality of multiple forms of disadvantage (e.g. racial inequality, gender discrimination, poverty, disability stigma).
UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report 2020 strongly recommends the adoption of UDL at government level so that it becomes an integral part of countries’ inclusive education policies. CBM, while acknowledging the growing importance of UDL as a framework for implementing inclusive education, also recognised that there was minimal evidence and guidance on how it might be effectively implemented in LMICs. A number of international experts in UDL, CBM partners and the inclsuive education advisor were interviewed as part of the research.