News from the ACCESS Project

ACCESS team publishes book chapter in second edition of Universal Design in Higher Education

October 22, 2015

Dr. Jennifer Taylor, Microbiology, Immunology & PathologyPatti Davies, professor and associate dean for research for the College of Health and Human Sciences, Cathy Schelly, director of the Center for Community Partnerships, and Craig Spooner, ACCESS project coordinator, all in the Department of Occupational Therapy, have published a new book chapter in the highly-respected Universal Design in Higher Education, 2nd edition, edited by Sheryl Burgstahler. Universal design for learning is a set of principles that help instructors create inclusive learning environments accessible to students with disabilities and others with diverse learning needs.

The chapter, Universal Design for Learning Intervention in Postsecondary Education: Results from Two Effectiveness Studies, describes two studies conducted by the authors for the U.S. Department of Education-funded ACCESS Project. The studies, both published previously in the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, measured the impact of providing training to university instructors on the principles and implementation methods of universal design for learning. Data not previously published were also included in the chapter to represent the full scope of research conducted for the project.

The ACCESS research, led by Davies, broke new ground in the field of universal design in higher education, and contributed badly-needed empirical data to the literature. According to the authors, “The two studies reported in this chapter suggest that as little as five hours of group instruction on the use of UDL principles and teaching strategies can increase the implementation of those strategies... Collectively, these two studies provide evidence that instructor training is an effective way to promote universally designed teaching practices in postsecondary education.”

Spooner said of the book, “This volume contains perhaps the most authoritative collection of articles on universal design in the context of postsecondary education, so it was a real honor to have our article selected for inclusion.”

More information on Universal Design in Higher Education. 2nd edition, edited by Sheryl Burgstahler, published in September by Harvard Education Press, is available on the Harvard Education Press website. The original press release can be found in CSU’s Source newsletter.

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Dr. Jennifer L. Taylor wins 2011 N. Preston Davis Award for innovative, inclusive instruction

May 5, 2011

Dr. Jennifer Taylor, Microbiology, Immunology & PathologyCongratulations Jennifer Taylor for winning the 2011 N. Preston Davis Award for Instructional Innovation with an emphasis on Universal Design for Learning! Dr. Taylor demonstrates UDL principals by employing a range of techniques for teaching and assessing student learning. She has pioneered the use of a notebook computer and Camtasia software to create an interactive learning environment in the classroom. The resulting videos are posted to the Web, where students use them when studying. Along with Dr. Erica Suchman, Dr. Taylor is developing a new set of courses to create a research-based learning community.

Dr. Taylor is described by colleagues as an enthusiastic, energetic and innovative member of the Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology department. Her students describe her as exceptionally motivating, caring, and sensitive to the needs of a diverse population of learners.

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Symposium on Autism Spectrum Disorders

March 23, 2011

Transition & Transformation: The ASD Symposium Colorado State University hosted a Symposium on Autism Spectrum Disorders on March 23 and 24, which focused on the unique needs of students with autism-related disabilities in higher education. The symposium provided resources to parents and teaching professionals to help students succeed in the classroom and on campus.

The symposium included presentations by Jane Thierfield Brown from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and Lorraine Wolf from Boston University. The keynote speaker was Temple Grandin from Colorado State University. Cathy Schelly and Craig Spooner also presented information from the ACCESS and OPS projects.

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Research data published in leading journal

February 7, 2011

Journal of Postsecondary Education and DisabilityResults from the early stages of the ACCESS research have been published in the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 24(1), 17-28. The paper, titled Student Perceptions of Faculty Implementation of Universal Design for Learning, responds to repeated calls by leading scholars in the field of universal design in education for empirical evidence of UDL’s beneficial effects on student learning, performance, persistence, and ultimately retention.

The study described in this paper measured changes and/or improvements in instruction as perceived by students following UDL instructor training and subsequent course delivery modifications. The article also describes the process that was undertaken to develop and implement pre-and post-student surveys, and points the way toward further research regarding the benefits of UDL implementation to postsecondary education.

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Provost invites nominations for presigious N. Preston Davis Award

November 9, 2010

UDL AwardNominations for the N. Preston Davis Award for Instructional Innovation may be submitted until Tuesday, February 1, 2011. The award, which comes with a $1,000 cash prize, includes a category for Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Evidence of successful implementation of UDL principles to create inclusive classroom instruction and accessible course materials may be used as a focus for instructional innovation. See the UDL Award page for more information.

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A banner year for UDL and SA dissemination

November 1, 2010

UDL and SA PresentationsThe ACCESS Presentation gave eighteen presentations in 2010, including 9 at Colorado State University; 5 at regional conferences, including the eLearning Consortium of Colorado (eLCC), the Colorado Association for DEvelopmental Education (CoADE), and EDUCAUSE Regional in Austin, Tx; and 4 presentations at national conferences such as NASPA, Chicago and EDUCAUSE National in Anaheim, CA. For a complete listing, click on the Presentations tab.

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Dr. Thomas Johnson wins N. Preston Davis Award for innovative implementation of UDL

May 1, 2010

Dr. Thomas JohnsonDr. Thomas E. Johnson, Environmental & Radiological Health Sciences (ERHS), was named the winner of the N. Preston Davis Award at the Celebrate Colorado State! awards reception on April 27, 2010. The award recognizes Dr. Johnson's innovative efforts to reach out to a diverse student population and make education more engaging. Dr. Johnson, who teaches students both on and off campus, employs UDL principles to create instructional materials that are accessible to a wider range of students, including students with disabilities who use assistive technologies.

For more information about the N. Preston Davis Award, see the Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) website.

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ACCESS Project receives three more years of funding

October, 2008

ACCESS ProjectThe ACCESS Project, which received its initial funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education in September of 2005 and formally operated under the title “ACCESS to Postsecondary Education through Universal Design for Learning,” has been awarded another three years of funding. The project, whose new title is “Persistence in Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities,” will focus primarily on three areas: 1) expanding UDL dissemination and implementation at CSU and regional institutions of higher education, 2) further integrating the principles and student self-advocacy, and 3) continuing the project’s groundbreaking UDL research.

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UDL video reaches 33,000 potentials viewers

August, 2007

The ACCESS videoA new video, Best Practices through Universal Design for Learning, began airing this month on CSU-TV, a non-commercial station carried on Comcast Cable Channel 11 in Fort Collins, Colorado, and on CSU Campus Channel 11. Programming on these stations reaches 33,000 households in the Fort Collins area. The video presents an exciting approach to improving the academic performance and retention of college students through Universal Design for Learning. The program, created by the ACCESS Project, is Hosted by Dr. Patrick Burns, CSU’s Vice President for Information and Instructional Technology, and features interviews with award-winning professors Rich Feller (School of Education) and Erica Suchman (Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology), along with a cross-section of CSU students. View archived press release for more information.

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