2015 RI Teaching Artists Center Conference Focuses on Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

“Very inspiring and extremely useful” 
“Great that so many people came from different backgrounds; conference itself modeled UDL”

On August 20RITAC sponsored a day-long professional development event on Universal Design for Learning in collaboration with the RI College Arts Education Program.   Covering both the worlds of education and healthcare, universal design was a topic that proved to be of great interest to a full house of participants at Alex and Ani Hall. About half the participants defined themselves as teaching artists, about half as certified K-12 or university level arts educators, and the remainder administrators, museum educators, and nursing school faculty. The majority of participants were not aware of Universal Design for Learning prior to the conference, but overwhelmingly felt that they would use what they learned.  As one participant said “ UDL is a more dynamic approach to conveying information and sharing ideas with students.”  

 The morning began with a keynote by Elizabeth Dalton, Director of Development and Research, TechACCESS Rhode Island.  Participatory workshops using design principles of UDL were presented by RI teaching artists Mike Bresler (music), Yonty Friesem and Jeannine Chartier (visual arts & design), Rachel Balaban(movement / dance), and Jordan Butterfield and Rebecca Noon (theatre.)