UPEI is proud to host the second Pan-Canadian Conference on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), May 31 to June 2. UDL is an educational framework based on research in the learning sciences that guides the development of flexible learning environments that can accommodate individual learning differences.
The first conference on UDL was hosted two years ago at McGill University. Interest and momentum for UDL has steadily grown across Canada in both the K-12 and post-secondary sectors, and the time has come for UDL practitioners and advocates to come together again to exchange ideas, showcase practices, and examine the potential for future development.
The conference hopes to encourage an interdisciplinary dialogue and to offer participants a multi-faceted overview of current Canadian initiatives. To this end, the conference will offer a stream for student services and student affairs professionals, another specifically for instructional designers, and one showcasing the learner voice. The conference organizers hope to attract UDL practitioners from overseas in order to allow for an emerging international dialogue on UDL implementation and research. The theme of the conference also seeks to create a bridge between the UDL discourse and the User Experience (UX) literature, and welcomes participants from the community at large.
The keynote speaker is Christina Bosch, a PhD candidate in special education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Bosch employs user experience design (UEX) methods to investigate instruction and learning in the area of juvenile corrections and to co-design inquiry-based UDL curricula to meet the unique learning needs of incarcerated youth. 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. She holds an MA in Special Education: Learning Disabilities from American University, and an MEd in Mind, Brain and Education from Harvard University. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked as an instructional designer at CAST, an education coordinator at the non-profit Artists for Humanity, and a special education teacher for middle grades.
The University of Prince Edward Island prides itself on people, excellence, and impact and is committed to assisting students reach their full potential in both the classroom and community. With roots stemming from two founding institutions—Prince of Wales College and Saint Dunstan’s University—UPEI has a reputation for academic excellence, research innovation, and creating positive impacts locally, nationally, and internationally. UPEI is the only degree granting institution in the province and is proud to be a key contributor to the growth and prosperity of Prince Edward Island.