Guidance for Implementing Universal Design for Learning in Irish Further Education and Training

SOLAS-ETBI-AHEAD recently launched the resource ‘UDL for FET Practitioners – Guidance for Implementing Universal Design for Learning in Irish Further Education and Training’. Building on existing good inclusion practices in the FET sector, this resource showcases examples of good UDL practice and provides a vision for how practitioners can implement UDL together as part of their local and national FET communities – learning and sharing good practices as they evolve.

In bringing this resource to life, ETBI has facilitated the development of a series of 5 online interactive seminars, which aim to strengthen knowledge and understanding of UDL and offer practical insights on embedding UDL in ETB FET.  The webinar series is driven by and aimed at practitioners who design and deliver FET programmes of all kinds, especially instructors and college/ centre support staff. Each webinar will include the showcasing by FET practitioners of examples of good UDL practice currently being implemented. 5 interactive online webinars will be delivered every second Friday on September 24th, October 8th, October 22nd, November 5th and November 19th from 2.30pm – 3.30pm.

Webinar 1 session is facilitated by Alison Jones and Mike Downes, GRETB.  It will introduce the concept and practice of UDL.  Areas for Discussion and debate will include the origins of UDL, UDL as a Lens, Development of UDL Principles & Guidelines and the practical application of UDL in apprenticeship programmes.  The session will adopt interactive tools, allowing participants to discuss and share learning and ideas.

Webinar 2 session is facilitated by Helena Farrell, Kinsale College and Vivienne Doherty BTEI, Donegal.  This session will explore the UDL principle of engagement, with a focus on its application to Induction processes.  Using an interactive approach, this session will look at getting learners involved, engaged, and motivated.

Webinar 3 session is facilitated by Dave Mulvaney, Crumlin Youthreach and Carol Neenan, Cork ETB.  This session will discuss and debate the UDL principle of representation and its application in areas including the representation of technical language & complex procedures.  Options for perception & comprehension will be addressed.

Webinar 4 session will be facilitated Jennifer Lynch, Marino College of Further Education.  The facilitators will explore the UDL principle of Action and Expression and its application in the use of Learner Journals.  Potential areas for discussion include the provision of options for physical action, communication and functioning.

Webinar 5 session will be facilitated by Carrie Archer, PL&D Coordinator for CDETB and Liz Moynihan, Director of Kinsale College.  The facilitators will share their experience of working as part of a collective in Communities of Practice. They will discuss the possibilities of how CoP’s support the true embedding of UDL as a mindset within a class group, a centre, or an entire organisation. Carrie and Liz will explore practicalities, challenges, and aspirations as well as the role of leadership in building your UDL community.