Keynote and Featured Programs

Keynote

The Keynote and Opening Reception will take place on Wednesday May 31st from 6pm.

Universal Learning Experiences: How UDL and UX Structure Inclusion & Transfer in Education for All

Through a shared focus on removing barriers to the achievement of goals, UDL and UX in education implicitly recognize a ubiquitous international value in education systems: transferability of experience. We want people to learn so that they can apply their learning across different and new contexts. Inclusive education adopts this value but rejects the idea of “disposable populations” and aims to facilitate high-quality participation amongst all learners in the interactions and relationships that constitute learning environments. Thus the project of inclusive education asks the same fundamental question as UDL and UX: what conditions facilitate access to engaging, transferable experiences for all learners? I suggest that the answer lies in an original interpretation of Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development: that is, transferable learning experiences are systems of organized participation in which all individuals in the environment – not just students — are empowered to engage, learn, and change. To sketch this comprehensive idea of experience, I will draw on examples from a digital science curriculum development project co-designed between learners, researchers, and staff in juvenile corrections settings. I will examine how the UDL and UX frameworks begin to bridge the well-known gaps in education — between research versus practice, static versus transferable learning, learners versus teachers — by offering accessible, collaborative methods of designing with, rather than just for, learners. UDL and UX can facilitate the design of more equitable structures in learning environments such that everyone is involved in learning, and learning truly becomes universal. 

Christina Bosch

Christina Bosch is a PhD Candidate in Special Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She employs User Experience Design methods to investigate instruction and learning in juvenile corrections, and to co-design (with users) inquiry-based UDL curricula to meet the unique learning needs of incarcerated youth. Related research interests involve critical media literacy, inquiry pedagogies, digital media production and art integration, and Project-Based Learning. Bosch is an instructional designer on the National Science Foundation (NSF) Project RAISE (Reclaiming Access and Inquiry in Science Education) and a HASTAC (Humanities, Art, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) fellow. She is also a NSF CADRE (Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education) fellow, and holds a MA in Special Education: Learning Disabilities from American University, and a M.Ed. in Mind, Brain and Education from Harvard University. Prior to her doctoral studies, Christina worked as an instructional designer at CAST, an education coordinator at the nonprofit Artists for Humanity, and as a special education teacher for the middle grades.

Plenary

Campaigning to get School Boards, Colleges, Universities and Governments to Adopt and Implement UDL – Strategies for Effective Advocacy

David Lepofsky

David Lepofsky is a visiting professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School and an adjunct member of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He holds volunteer leadership roles in the disability community.

David is the chair of the Special Education Advisory Committee of the Toronto District School Board and chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance. In both capacities, he leads grassroots efforts on education accessibility for students with disabilities. This includes campaigning to get UDL effectively implemented on the front lines of Ontario’s education system.

In this plenary, he will focus on how to effectively advocate for the adoption and implementation of UDL. David Lepofsky led the decade-long campaign to win the 2005 enactment of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and now leads the campaign for its effective implementation and enforcement. As chair of the TDSB SEAC, he is leading a top-to-bottom review of the delivery of special education in Canada’s largest school board.

Following his plenary, David will lead a workshop to continue conversation with conference participants. In this workshop, David will conduct an interactive discussion with attendees on how to get UDL effectively embedded at your school board, college, university or by your government.

David Lepofsky’s resources

Toronto District School Board Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) Motion #5 as Approved April 3 2017
SEAC Motion #5 as passed on 3Apr2017

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance: What an Ontario Education Accessibility Standard Could Include? – A Discussion Paper, November 21, 2016
november 21 2016 education accessibility standard discussion paper

AODA Alliance: Open Letter to the Premier on Education, December 5, 2016
december 5 2016 AODA Alliance open letter to premier on education accessibility standard

David Lepofsky short biography
short bio david lepofsky as of Jan 2017