Syracuse University, USA

As universities become increasingly diverse, it is important for individuals and groups planning events to consider how they can make their events accessible and engaging to a broad audience. This audience includes people with a wide array of backgrounds and social identities, includes those based upon race, ethnicity, language, country of origin, religion, political affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, ability,
class, age, etc. In order to plan events that are inclusive of the growing diversity of students in higher education, it is necessary to go beyond simply accommodating or acknowledging people’s differences, and instead, to create events that are universally designed—accessible to everyone.

Proponents of Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) take as a premise the idea that all learning environments can be designed in advance, and in ongoing ways, to reflect the greatest possible array of students’ and other participants’ needs, preferences, and learning styles.