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Universal Design for Learning
All students learn differently.  There is no “one size fits all” option for classroom instruction.  How can a teacher meet the needs of all students in a classroom?
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles for curriculum development that gives all individuals equal opportunities to learn.  The goal of UDL is to provide instruction that accommodates the widest spectrum of learners with minimal need for subsequent adaptations.  Universal Design for Learning includes three primary brain networks (CAST 2011).
Recognition Network: The “What” of Learning
Presenting content in multiple ways allows teachers to design learning experiences that are flexible enough to reach a variety of learners.
  • Content should be presented in a variety of ways.
  • Offer opportunities for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning.
  • Plan learning activities that allow students to use all of their senses.
Strategic Network: The “How” of Learning
Providing multiple means of action and expression allows students to make connections to material and successfully share what they have learned.
  • Differentiate the ways that students can express what they know.
  • Provide options for students to share what they have learned.
Affective Network: The “Why” of Learning
Providing multiple means of engagement ensures that a wide variety of students in your classroom will each find motivation to maintain attention to lessons.
  • Stimulate interest and motivation for learning.
  • Help foster a Growth Mindset in your students.
CAST UDL Overview Video:
UDL Guidelines:
CAST (2011). Universal design for learning guidelines version 2.0. Wakefield,MA:Author
Retrieved Nov. 28, 2016 from
National Center on Intensive Intervention (2013) Handout: Think-Tac-Toe.
Retrieved 11/29/16 from
Mary Wilds is Retiring!
After 17 years of service with T-TAC ODU, and many previous years of service with T-TAC GMU, Mary has decided to share her creative talents and enjoy retirement back home in Oklahoma. 
Mary’s career started as a teacher of young children with disabilities and she was always an avid advocate for her students.  Never daunted by a challenge and always one to persevere until finding an answer to any problem, she came to discover the benefits of technology to support her students. She was recognized as an innovator by Mike Behrmann, T-TAC GMU Principal Investigator, who hired her out of the classroom and, thus, began her career in professional development.
For over 30 years, Mary has kept abreast of the many advancements and innovations in technology, and has worked diligently to teach anyone willing to learn about the ever-changing applications of assistive technology to support students with disabilities.   Her creativity and enthusiasm are unsurpassed. As the Statewide Distance Ed. Technology Coordinator, Mary has been instrumental in the creation of T/TAC Online and also led the team that began the first VA Virtual Techknowledgy Conference that is taking place to this day.
There are many people across Virginia who will dearly miss Mary. She has probably traveled more miles across Virginia to serve many of you than any other T-TAC staff member ever.  If you would like to wish her well, we are gathering personal notes and cards. She prefers such personal communications to having a retirement party.  You can send notes for Mary to: Kerry Lambert, T-TAC ODU, 860 W 44th St, Norfolk, VA 23508 or email Mary directly at mwilds@ttac.odu.eduMary’s email will be active until the end of the year. We wish Mary every happiness in her well-earned retirement!  
Creating Connections to Shining Stars, Virginia’s collaborative early childhood conference, will be held July 19-21, 2017 at Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia. 
Session proposals are now being accepted!  Consider sharing your knowledge and experience with colleagues by presenting at this year’s conference.  Click here for the Call for Proposals.
*Proposals will be accepted through February 1, 2017.
From everyone at
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and your family
a joyful
holiday season.


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Professional Development
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December 7, 2016
Webinar: Strategy to See: Working with Students with Cortical Visual Impairment
March 15-17, 2017
Richmond, VA
2017 National Family Engagement Summit
March 20-21, 2017
Richmond, VA
"Zones of Regulation-Strategies to Foster Self Regulation, Emotional Control, Behavior, & Independent Functioning Skills in Students"
T-TAC Old Dominion University  •  860 W 44th Street  •  Norfolk, VA 23508
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