Fiona Whittington-Walsh, PhD. Chair, Department of Sociology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey British Columbia President, Inclusion BC

The IACP is a pedagogical model that involves the full inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities into Faculty of Arts (FA) courses at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) in British Columbia for credit and on an equal basis with other students. This model opens the doors of education by making existing university courses environments where all students can participate and succeed. Without adapting curriculum, the IACP uses the principles of universal design for learning (UDL) to transform teaching and deliver curriculum to a wide range of learners. This is a student-centred learning environment where everyone is included and valued on equal basis, thereby making it an exemplary learning experience for all and is one of the first fully inclusive, for-credit university certificate programs. Students in the IACP will receive their Faculty of Arts, Certificate in Arts (FAC), an exit credential consisting of 30 academic credits (10 courses) that is fully transferable through the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer. The FAC pre-exists the IACP and is designed to provide an educational experience that prepares students for work, citizenship, and critical engagement with their communities. The IACP pilot was launched in spring 2016 and includes five students with intellectual disabilities who take one FA course each term to complete their FAC. Using a qualitative, ethnographic, and participatory action research methodology, the lead instructor and principal investigator and co-researcher are investigating and assessing the teaching strategies and techniques that support student learning of essential knowledge and skill sets in each of the courses that are part of the IACP. The research approach is two-fold: case study and action research. The courses that are part of the pilot are the foundation for the unfolding case study. Data collection occurs during and after each course using the following methods: (1) instructor self-reflection of both successful and unsuccessful teaching strategies and techniques; (2) voluntary and anonymous student course evaluations; (3) interviews with students; (4) interviews with IACP instructors; and (5) post-graduation interviews with pilot students. Research ethics was approved in 2016. The anticipated outcomes for the IACP include: (1) providing a successful pilot as a model of inclusive pedagogy; (2) creating a teacher’s guide to assist other instructors in transforming their teaching to reach a wide range of learners; (3) identifying policy barriers located within the educational system; and (4) providing leadership and encouraging innovative and inclusive pedagogical practices. The pedagogical foundation of this project has far-reaching potential including, but not limited to, programs that offer English as an alternative language service for international students whose first language is not English as well as influencing pedagogical reform in secondary and post-secondary education. This workshop will introduce The Including All Citizens Project (IACP) including examples of teaching strategies.

Live entertainment

Live entertainment will be offered by the singer Stephanie Greaves and her musicians tonight during the reception that will follow the Keynote.

Stephanie Greaves is no stranger to a stage – whether performing in an ocean-front piano bar, an arena for sporting events or at a large-scale theatre – her versatility in ALL genres comes alive – from jazz to classics, country to R&B and her favourite; musical comedy, she can do it all! She has had the thrill of performing for a large array of dignitaries including Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and more recently, David Foster. She continues to lend her talent to many charities such as BC Children’s Hospital, Make-a-Wish Foundation, CNIB and Santa’s Anonymous, to name a few. She is perpetually thrilled to share the stage with her most famoulsy talented friend and co-conspirator, Mr. Darcy Phillips – who spends all his other time with another person named Jann Arden… Joining Stephanie and Darcy today on the Upright is Mr. Louis Rudner, who hails from the gorgeous shores of Michigan with a both a Bachelors and Masters degree in Jazz Performance from Michigan State University. This trio is in constant high-demand and is thrilled to be joining you today!

Open Resources: Improving Access for Everyone

BCcampus, the Gold Sponsor of the Conference, discuss the overlap between Open Educational practices and UDL, and explain the ways UDL is intimately woven into their work.

At BCcampus, we support the adaptation and evolution of teaching and learning practices to improve the learning experiences of students across British Columbia. One of our major initiatives is around open education, where we support B.C. faculty in adopting, adapting, and creating open educational resources (OER) and adopting open pedagogical practices in the classroom. Our work aligns with the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in many ways, but in particular, we would like to highlight how open textbooks can increase access to education and improve the learning experiences for students all around the world. (To read more, please visit the original BCcampus blog)

To Marry or Not to Marry? Differentiated Instruction (DI) and Universal Design of Learning (UDL): Turning Adversaries into Allies in Distance Learning

Do you believe that UDL and DI are incompatible frameworks? Or can these approaches to instruction complement one another in a marriage of sorts?  I believe that UDL and DI represent different approaches to instruction, but they have some core similarities that support curriculum design in distance learning environments that strive to enhance access to higher education. In fact, I think it makes sense to include both in the distance-learning context.

The most notable similarity between the two approaches is that that they share a common end goal:  to account for student variability in the classroom. However, the two approaches differ a bit in the ways in which they go about achieving this (just like spouses in a marriage). While DI is based on retrofitting and modifying instruction on the back-end, UDL anticipates student’s diversity and builds in multiple forms of representation, engagement and expression from the outset. A clash in pedagogical approach?  Or just a bump in the road? Neither, if you work on the strengths of each approach in a way that complements the core goal that both frameworks support: student variability. If we continue focusing of the differences between the two approaches, we will be unable to turn adversaries into allies.

Join my session at the upcoming conference where I will showcase how the flexibility of the online classroom can be monopolized to create a customized learning experience for each student by incorporating elements of both approaches. I will also present a working prototype of how UDL applications of DI have been applied to a Business Communications course in a distance learning setting by altering the three elements of DI (product, process and content) in the provision of the three UDL principles (multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement), which I will demonstrate to the audience.

Author Bio

Ashiya Abdool Satar is an academic in the Department of Communication Science at the University of South Africa (Unisa). She has diverse research interests that mirror her educational pursuits in the areas of organizational communication, media studies, inclusive education, and Open Distance and e-Learning (ODeL) in the Higher Education sector. Ashiya is currently involved in projects focusing on active youth citizenship, social justice, media identity and representation, public sector communication, and inclusive education, with a particular focus on the universal design of learning (UDL) approach. Ashiya is also co-editor of an upcoming book related to social media theory and research.

A Case for Institution Specific UDL Research

What does a tall man in a compact car have to do with UDL research in higher education? Come see Darla Benton Kearney, from Mohawk College, to find out!

On Thursday, October 3rd at 11:00 a.m. A Case for Institution Specific UDL Research will use Mohawk College’s Universal Design for Learning (UDL) research experience to make a quick argument for why others should embark on their own, context specific UDL research journey.

Weaving UDL with Critical and Holistic Pedagogies in Intercultural Learning

For some years now, Canadian universities have been encouraged by national education bodies like Universities Canada and the CBIE to integrate intercultural learning in classroom, research, and community activities in order to promote valuing of diverse worldviews, empathy for ‘others,’ and respect for Indigenous ways of knowing and being.

So, how can we do that? What are we actually putting into action? What might we do better?

Unsurprisingly, the research shows that variety in course materials, methods, and learning activities as described in the UDL framework is an important support. But UDL on its own is not enough. Other key supports include critical and holistic pedagogies, intentional design of experiential learning with ‘others,’ and facilitators with intercultural teaching competencies.

This experiential workshop will introduce you to weaving UDL with critical and holistic pedagogies and provide you with opportunities to practice intercultural teaching competencies – including designing an introductory learning activity that can support relationship building in culturally diverse groups. We will provide sample course scenarios for participants to work with, but please do feel free to bring a course outline if you’d like to develop or revise an opening activity in your own course.  

This workshop is facilitated by Donna DesBiens, Eric Bigrigg, Jason Keddie, and Valeria Cortes of Royal Roads University.  Donna, Eric and Jason are learning designers with the Centre for Teaching with Educational Technologies and Val is an instructor teaching intercultural communication and leadership theory.  

Practical Strategies for Creating Inclusive Classrooms: You are invited to join the discussion of inclusive education at BC universities!

As our campuses are becoming increasingly more diverse, it has become imperative for post-secondary educators and staff to think beyond the ‘typical tried ways’ in which we learn and teach. In this session, we will explore the intersects of Universal Design for Learning, broadly, and inclusive post-secondary education practices. We invite participants to imagine the benefits of a commitment to equitable inclusion and the impact this can have on instructors, peers and the broader community. Through interactive activities, participants will be encouraged to think about tools and strategies to facilitate inclusive and equitable communities within and beyond the post-secondary education.

This session will be facilitated by Lauren Matthews and Carmen Lee from STEPS Forward, the BC Initiative for Inclusive Post-Secondary Education (BC-IPSE). BC-IPSE is a family founded and guided organization with a vision to support equitable access to mainstream academics and campus life on university campuses across the province for adults with developmental disabilities and has been an active provincial initiative since 2001. BC-IPSE currently works in partnership with SFU, UBC, NVIT, ECUAD, UVIC, TWU, and UBC-O to support students with developmental disabilities to be included in the same courses and programs of study, and in the same ways, as any other student on campus.

Comment des universitaires québécois mettent-ils en action leurs étudiants par le biais de la pédagogie universelle ?

Marie-Elaine Desmarais partage avec nous un aperçu du contenu de sa deuxième présentation au programme de la conférence.

Les milieux postsecondaires québécois constatent une diversification de leur population étudiante (CREPUQ, 2012) qui provoque plusieurs défis. Par exemple, pour avoir accès à des services spécialisés, les étudiants doivent présenter une preuve d’un diagnostic (Wolforth et Roberts, 2010). Ces milieux doivent chercher des solutions répondant mieux à la diversité des besoins éducatifs de tous les étudiants en maintenant des exigences élevées. La mise en œuvre de pratiques plus inclusives valorisant la mise en action des étudiants, comme la pédagogie universelle, pourrait accompagner cette recherche de solution. Cette communication présenter les résultats d’une étude répondant à la question suivante : comment des professeurs ou chargés de cours en contexte universitaire mettent-ils en action leurs apprenants par la mise en œuvre des principes de flexibilité de la pédagogie universelle ? La pédagogie universelle permettrait une planification de l’enseignement tenant compte des besoins d’apprentissage d’une diversité d’étudiants (Ducharme et Montminy, 2015) tout en diminuant l’attention portée aux handicaps, pour se centrer sur les conditions favorables à l’apprentissage de tous. Cette étude de cas a pour objectif de comprendre comment des professeurs ou chargés de cours mettent en œuvre les principes de la pédagogie universelle en portant un regard plus précis sur le troisième principe, soit favoriser les moyens d’action et d’expression. C’est auprès 17 professeurs ou chargés de cours que cette étude québécoise s’est déroulée. Les résultats qui seront présentés mettent en évidence que la mise en action et l’expression des apprenants, associés plus spécifiquement au troisième principe, sont une préoccupation importante chez les participants. Ils permettent aussi de constater que les participants utilisent différentes modalités pédagogiques pour favoriser la mise en action et l’expression de leurs étudiants. Ces modalités pédagogiques seront explicitées dans le cadre de cette communication.

Répertoire numérique et dynamique de pratiques inspirées des principes de la conception universelle de l’apprentissage : un produit alliant recherche participative et recherche-développement

Cette présentation, offerte par Marie-Élaine Desmarais, sera l’occasion de vous présenter le fruit des travaux de chercheurs québécois concernant la conception universelle de l’apprentissage en contexte postsecondaire. Ces travaux remontent en 2015-2016 lorsqu’un répertoire de pratiques inspirées des principes de flexibilité de la conception universelle de l’apprentissage a été créé. Ce répertoire a été coconstruit par des chercheurs, des professeurs et des chargés de cours de l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières dans une démarche de recherche participative. Par la suite, il nous est apparu important de transformer ce répertoire (format papier) en un produit plus accessible à l’ensemble de la communauté universitaire. Nous avons alors pensé qu’un produit numérique, dynamique et convivial, serait plus adapté pour qu’il y ait un transfert des connaissances issues de la recherche. Afin d’en arriver à la transformation du répertoire initial en produit numérique, nous nous sommes inspirés des principes de la recherche-développement. Au fil de notre présentation, nous pourrons vous faire part des défis et des enjeux vécus tout au long du processus.

Integrating the Edcamp recipe into the conference format

The Edcamp recipe has created much interest in the last few years because it turns the traditional conference format on its head. Edcamps, indeed, involve no speakers per se and instead invite everyone to contribute in a round table set up. It also allows participants the flexibility to determine on the day what they wish to discuss and focus on. It creates exceptional opportunities for dialogue and cross sector/ cross institution pollination. It also addresses head on the “sage on a stage” power dynamics that plague traditional conferences. As such, the Edcamp recipe is particularly well aligned with UDL in several ways, and provides significant opportunities to reflect on the ways UDL affects thedesign of professional development. The AHEAD Ireland Conference was the first, in 2018, to explore the possibilities of the Edcamp format within an academic conference on UDL, and it did so with great success by integrating parallel round table discussions. The Third Pan-Canadian Conference on UDL wishes to follow this lead, and seeks to integrate free flowing conversations, alongside the more formal break-out sessions. If you are attending the conference in Victoria and wish to facilitate a round table discussion, please contact the Organizing Committee at There will be a room set up for spontaneous round tables on UDL in K-12, HE, accessibility services and instructional design respectively.