Welcome to the web home of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Accessibility Research Group. We are a research group at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and our research is focused on understanding the needs of students with disabilities and broadening the participation of students with disabilities. Our team constitutes of diverse students and professors who want to work towards making education accessible for all. Our current focus is largely on making STEM courses more accessible for students with disabilities.

GIANT-Funded Project: The GIANT Project focuses on Applying a Theoretical Understanding of Text-Based Learning Modalities To Develop New Course Modalities That Meet the Needs of Students With Disabilities. GIANT Measures students’ perceived accessibility of the course using the WCAG-based POUR model (perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust subscales).

SIIP-Funded Project: The SIIP Project focuses on UDL-based best practices including utilizing Canvas for the needs of students with disability. SIIP focuses on finding the top five desired UDL practices among students spanning the UDL guidelines of accessibility, representation, engagement, and action-expression. Our study provides empirical findings about the opportunities and barriers to implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) practices for all stakeholders with the end goal of developing more inclusive courses.

ClassTranscribe: ClassTranscribe works as the web interface for the editing and customization of digital notes designed for ease of use for teaching faculty actively using digital notes in the classroomWe continue to make additions, improvements, and bug fixes with the hope that the usage of these digital notes will continue to be adopted by more instructors and will ultimately increase accessibility for SWDs.

ScribeAR: ScribeAR is a lightweight platform used for live transcription. Integrating various different transcription services ranging from live transcription to Microsoft Azure, ScribeAR aims to provide a practical and non-intrusive transcription service appropriate for every situation. We hope to specifically utilize ScribeAR to improve access to education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students on the UIUC campus and other educational institutions.

Further, we also have the Canvas Training course. This course gives a concise training on how to apply some of the best practices based on Accessibility and Universal Design of Learning principles to increase the inclusiveness and effectiveness of course design and contents, especially for students with disabilities. This course can be found on Canvas.