Professional Development at SUNY Broome

Thank you for joining us once again? It is officially WEEK 7! This week, I want to spotlight Disability Awareness Month, which takes place every October. I have curated some resources for you around Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and physical Universal Design, as well as remind everyone about the Strive for 85 challenge we are running this academic year. Have an idea? Know of a cool article or event? Want me to highlight something you think is important? Let me know at or you can email Professional Development at!

Disability Awareness Month!

This NPR News article discusses how fellow SUNY school University of Buffalo has received a 300K grant to create professional development for faculty to better teach neurodiverse students; the grant will first target supporting students in the computer sciences who have an ADHD diagnosis and expand from there. I find this incredibly interesting, as I have seen an increase of students with ADHD over the last few years. As some of you likely have, I’ve heard from students regarding pandemic related challenges and how some of these have exacerbated symptoms, impacting their learning.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of curriculum design and delivery principles aimed at creating an inclusive and accessible learning experience for students. Universal design is achieved through the development of flexible curricular materials and activities and is considered a “best practice” approach to curriculum design. This Youtube video from Boston College’s Center for Teaching Excellence explains Universal Design for Learning and what this looks like in the classroom.

A lack of universal design discourages bright, academically driven people from pursuing higher education opportunities. This article, The Importance of Universal Design on College Campuses, talks about the need for a Universal Design (UD) approach to a campus’ physical space, citing a lack of universal design as limiting opportunities for people with disabilities to thrive on college campuses. The article reminds the reader that people with disabilities have an equal right under the law to higher education the same as those without disabilities. The author suggests participating in a Day Without Stairs to better understand the experiences of faculty, staff, and students with limited mobility.

Finally, a reminder that about our Strive for 85 challenge! In order to complete the challenge, you must:

  • Identify your baseline Blackboard Ally score
  • Attend at least two workshops with a Strive for 85 designation
  • Complete the Deque University Digital Content Accessibility Guru certificate (2 levels)
  • Attend and complete at least one accessibility webinar through the Innovative Educators platform
  • Raise your Ally score by at least fifteen percentage points or to an overall score of 85, whichever is met first!

Questions? Please contact Professional Development at SUNY Broome for more info!

Submitted by: Professional Development