Girl on pedestal wearing a cape blowing in the wind with the title 'UDL for Social Justice Using Universal Design for Learning to Educate Underserved Learners '.

Symposium Description

Providing high quality education is a matter of social justice, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an innovative framework that supports all learners –regardless of socioeconomic, cultural, gender, language, cognitive, physical, and emotional background— by providing exceptional, rigorous learning opportunities. UDL proactively infuses opportunities for learners to overcome barriers and ensure that “learning has no limits.”

Please join us for CAST’s 3rd Annual UDL Symposium, where we will:

  •   Share new research around UDL as it relates to social justice
  •   Innovate strategies to design learning opportunities that address the needs of all learners
  •   Connect with educators, researchers, designers, policy makers, technology specialists, and administrators from around the world to discuss UDL and social justice

Registration includes:

  •   All materials (most materials will be provided digitally)
  •   Daily continental breakfast
  •   Lunch and refreshment break on Days 1 and 2
  •   Afternoon reception on Day 2

Upon completion of the Symposium, participants will receive an official CAST certificate.

Symposium Location

University of Massachusetts Boston


July 31-August 2, 2017


Days 1 & 2:  8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Day 3: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Registration Fee

$695 Early Bird Special!  Register by May 15, 2017 and save $100 of the regular Symposium rate. (Rate after May 15 is $795.)  A 10% discount is offered to teams of three or more people from the same organization who register together.

Featured Symposium Presenters

We will be updating this section frequently, so please check back for updates!

Liz Berquist

Liz Berquist

Lynn McCormack

Lynn McCormack

Lisa Carey

Lisa Carey

Katie Novak

Katie Novak

Kim Ducharme

Kim Ducharme

Sam Johnston

Sam Johnston

Symposium Presentations

The complete list of presenters and the full Symposium agenda will be available in March.

Symposium Sessions and Presenters
Access and Transition within Post-Secondary for Marginalized Learners – Tracy Whitfield
Applying UDL for Social Justice in Teacher Preparation – Liz Hartman, Janet Sauer, Maggie Hayes, and Sandy Ho
Applying UDL for Social Justice to Teacher Training – Janet Sauer
Breaking Down Barriers with BreakoutEDU Boxes –  Nick Williams and Katie Putnam
Closing the Achievement Gap through Universally Designed Leadership – Kristin Rodriguez
Creating Safe Spaces with UDL – Stephanie Craig
Creating Space for Multilingualism and Social Justice – Mercy Ikua
Danger of Teaching from a Dominant Cultural Narrative (TED Talk) – Zach Smith
Design Thinking Workshop for Culturally Responsive Teaching – Daniel Yoo
Designing for Cultural and Linguistic Variability – Patti Ralabate
Developing Online Courses with UDL for Students with Learning Disabilities – Chris Murphy
Developing Universally Designed Summative On-screen Assessments – Kala Parasuram
Diverse Literacies: Tech for Voice and Choice – Sarah Schroeder
Empowering Teachers to Enable Social Justice with UDL – Amir Bar
Encouraging UDL Innovation Among Novice Teachers – Jude Wolf
Expert Artist, Expert Leaner: Exploring the Artist Practice – Elizabeth Fortin and Timmary Leary
From UDL to UDSP – Marisol Moreno-Anngarita
How to Move from Access to Community – Chris Lanterman and Matthew Minister
Integrating UDL and SIOP to Pursue Social Justice – Amber Gentile
Investigating our Own Variability: Beliefs and Behavior –  Loui Lord Nelson
J’s Story, a Journey through Addiction and Back – Lori Kiteala
Keep it Real – Patrick Tannish
Learning for All: Wisely Using Data and Meeting – Megan Van Fossan and Erica Kolat
Locating Unconscious Bias in our UDL Practice – Safire DeJong and Suzanne Judson-Whitehouse
Music as a Conduit to Learning and Self-expression for Individuals with High Support Needs – Alexis Reid
New Hampshire’s Vision Social Justice Through the Student Wellness Through the UDL Lens – Mary Lane, Mary Steady, and Kirk Behnke
One Size Does Not Fit All – Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles
Pedagogy of Inclusion: UDL in the PSCI College Classroom – Erika Cornelius Smith
Personalized Learning Fosters Social Justice for All Students – Elizabeth Schneider and Dr. Winsome Waite
Planning for Social Justice with Mindset and UDL – Susan Granquist-Steinhauser
Planning UDL Lessons for Populations with Unique Needs – Betty Schreiber
Pursuing Social Justice through Collaboration and Autonomy – Adam Deleidi, Nate Meyers, and Sarah Morrison
Social Justice, One Brain at a Time! – Lisa care
Stay Woke: Learning Without Limits – James-Etta Goodloe and Jennifer Pusateri
Strategies and Tools to Develop a Positive Classroom Culture – Matt Bergman
Supporting Learners with Special Needs through UDL Framework – Karen DiAngelis
Supporting Occupational Therapy Students with Certification Exam Accommodations – Vince Dinh
The Global UDL Virtual Classroom: Researching Cultural Perspectives – Frances Smith
The Intersection of Culturally Responsive Teaching and UDL for ELLs – Melissa Katz
The Role of Executive Function in Adolescents with Neurocognitive or Mental Health Challenges – Alexis Reid
The UDL Journey Begins with One Step – Matt Bergman
Three Teachers’ Journey: A General, Special and ELL Pilot – Amy Brown
Toward Emotionally Accessible TTS Delivery of Online Learning – Garron Hillaire
UDL and Assistive Technologies for Students with ADHD and SLD – Betty Schreiber
UDL and Social Justice: Teacher Preparation Program Redesign – Jonathan Briener
UDL to Address Contextual, Non-academic Barriers to Success – Alice Ray
UDL: Access for High-risk Learners for College Prep – Doreen Engel
Underserved Learners: Who Are We Talking About? – Jayne Plester
Universal Design for Learning as a Framework for Social Justice – Kavita Venkatesh
Universal Design: A Cornerstone for Social Justice – Beth Goodrich
Using Peer-mediated Literacy Instruction to Promote Inclusion – Allie Tasch
Using UDL in an Unprecedented Time of Uncertainty – Jennie Schaff
What Does UDL Look Like in Higher Education Learning? – Christine Panarese

“The UDL Symposium was such a great opportunity for me to ‘refresh’ my knowledge and understanding of UDL. With such diverse speakers and participants, I experienced UDL as interpreted through many different lenses and my knowledge was enhanced by the experiences and perspectives of all who attended. I love choice, and having choice of varied learning sessions supported my own personal interests and professional needs in UDL. Taking these three days to ‘live’ UDL was a great decision for me. This experience will really pay off in my work, and my future thinking about UDL.”

Elizabeth Dalton, Ph.D.

 Check out Social Media Highlights from the 2016 UDL Symposium!

Participants from CAST's 2016 UDL Symposium seated in tiered seats with hands raised during a Symposium session.
A small group of 2016 CAST UDL Symposium attendees writing their ideas on easel paper.
Participants from CAST's 2016 UDL Symposium seated at round tables while attending a Symposium session.

View Additional Symposium Information Below

Travel and Hotel

Be sure to arrange your own transportation and hotel. If arriving by air, please use Boston’s Logan Airport.

UMass Boston is accessible via public transportation (Boston’s MBTA, known locally as “The T”).  Take the Red Line to the JFK/UMass stop.  Visit UMass Boston’s Getting Here page for detailed directions.

A room block has been set up at the following hotel:
DoubleTree Club by Hilton Boston Bayside
240 Mt. Vernon Street, Boston, MA  02125

Single/Double: $219/night plus tax
Triple: $239/night plus tax
Quad: $259/night plus tax

To book a room, please call the hotel directly at 617-822-3600 and ask for the CAST UDL Symposium 2017 room block.

For additional hotel information, please visit the hotel’s website 

Cancellation and Refund Policy

All cancellations must be made in writing via fax, email, or mail 10 business days prior to the first day of the Symposium. A full refund, minus a $35 processing fee, will be issued at that time. Cancellations made within 10 business days of the Symposium cannot be refunded (this includes no-shows). Substitute registrations are encouraged.

Contact Us With Questions Regarding This Symposium

Contact Leslie O’Callaghan at 781-245-2212, ext 273 or by email:

Send Us An Email