Technology and Universal Design Affinity Group

The Technology & UDL Affinity Group is designed for people who are interested in using technology and universal design for learning to support students of all abilities in higher education settings. The activities of the group include discussion and demonstration of new and emerging technologies and techniques, review of existing apps, software, and programs, and other activities the group desires. Current research and practice will be interspersed in the agenda, and discussion of best practices will be the foundation of the group.

The purpose of the Affinity Group is to support members to:

Learn about technology and universal design for learning to support inclusive higher education.

Connect with educators, curriculum designers, technology specialists, and others.

Explore possible collaborations, and share tools and resources.

As of November 2021, there are over 40 members of the group, which meets quarterly. It is led by Lori Cooney, Don McMahon, and Olivia Hester. Lori Cooney is Program Director for Curriculum Design and Inclusive Education at the Institute for Community Inclusion at University of Massachusetts Boston. Lori provides technical assistance and training to faculty and staff of inclusive higher education programs, as well as secondary educators and transition specialists. Dr. Olivia Hester is a research assistant professor at the University of Alabama. Prior to working at Alabama, she served as the program director for Aggie ACHIEVE at Texas A&M University. Dr. Hester’s research interest includes assistive technology and augmented reality for youth with disabilities in transition. Dr. Don McMahon is an Associate Professor of Special Education at Washington State University in Pullman, WA. His research interests include augmented reality, virtual reality, inclusive postsecondary education, wearable devices, universal design for learning, assistive technology, and instructional technology. He is one of the faculty mentors for the WSU ROAR postsecondary education program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities at Washington State University.

Topics from previous meetings include incorporating UDL strategies into a course syllabus, technology tools for organization, accommodations, and more. To access information about previous and upcoming meetings and to join this group, visit the group page on our website. Group members often contribute and demonstrate their favorite resources. For example, in a past meeting, 10 members shared their favorite tool/website/resource in the Tech-A-Licious Google Slide. Click this link to view the recorded meeting