In addition to the use of interactive technology and flexible multipositional furniture and work areas, the concept of Universal Design (UD) is becoming a key component for designing 21st Century Learning Spaces. For our students with special needs, this is a game changer as part of successful inclusion.
The National Center on Universal Design for Learning states that as part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008: UDL is a means to guide educational practice that “reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports, and challenges, and maintains high achievement expectations for all students, including students with disabilities…” Universal Design (UD) are often concepts that were designed for the margins (individuals with special needs) yet have proven to benefit the masses. For example, sidewalk curb cuts were originally created for wheelchair users, but benefit bicyclists, parents using strollers or urban shoppers with portable carts. Closed captioning (for television/movies) was originally developed for the hearing impaired, but has proven helpful for English Language Learners (ELL) as well as those with learning/literacy issues.
School Specialty is committed to bringing innovative ideas to the classroom that support UDL concepts to support inclusion and help all learners succeed. For example, research now supports the idea that ball chairs may help some children with focus and attention. Check out these creative alternate seating options for fidgety students.
Our SqUoosh Chair rocks gently and provides very deep touch pressure (the squish effect!) which may help promote calming and organizing.
The AlphaBetterStudent Desk includes a swinging footrest and can be paired with a stool (sold separately) for standing/seating options. You can eliminate the “chair tippers” in YOUR classroom with this dynamic sit/stand option!
For more ideas on UDL visit us at www.abilitations.com