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student working mathematics problems Mission Statement

The mission of the Louisiana Universal Design for Learning (UDL) initiative is to design and implement a model for teaching and learning that will meet the needs of all learners through the use of best practices, adaptive technologies, and instructional techniques to accommodate all teaching and learning styles.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Universal Design for Learning, commonly known as UDL, is a new paradigm for teaching, learning, and assessment, drawing on new brain research and new media technologies to respond to individual learner differences.

Educational institutions are covered by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act if they receive federal financial assistance. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act covers all state and local government programs, including schools. Under both pieces of legislation educational entities must provide effective communication access to students with disabilities.  Schools that use the Web or any type of electronic or information technology to provide instruction, programs, or to disseminate information must assure that it is accessible.

The Louisiana Board of Regents (BoR), Office of Information and Learning Technology seeks to bring state colleges and universities' Web sites into basic compliance with Section 508. Through this Web site, BoR will provide resources and information to higher education institutions' Webmasters and designers to assist them in implementing the standards of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

For more information on legal requirements, visit: 

Educational institutions examine barriers to information access posed by design of their Web sites, software programs, and hardware that are not adaptable for access by persons with disabilities. It is recommended that schools use the guidelines in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act to identify criteria an institution should consider in evaluating the accessibility of electronic and information technology that it is currently using or planning to purchase.

States receiving funding under the Technology Related Assistance Act are compelled to comply. The State of Louisiana receives funds pursuant to this federal act through its Tech Act grantee, the Louisiana Technology Assistive Network (LATAN). LATAN has been designated by the Governor as the Tech Act grantee.  This grant mandates statewide advocacy for assistive technology access for individuals of all ages with all types of disabilities.

Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 508

Section 508 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which requires that electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the Federal government be accessible to people with disabilities. On August 7, 1998, the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, which includes the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, was signed into law. The 1998 amendments significantly expand and strengthen the technology access requirements in Section 508.

Federal officials, who know that implementing Section 508 in their agencies has improved access for all, including people with disabilities, state that it is simply good business sense to break down barriers to information technology so all external customers and employees can more easily access information and resources. Individuals with disabilities have been integrated into the workplace through accessible information technology.

Access for Everyone

Itís really about doing the right thing.  It's about helping 65 million Americans with disabilities achieve access to information.  Aging baby boomers now in the workforce will need some of the technology solutions emerging from Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.  The state of Louisiana is working to ensure access for all persons with disabilities, including employees and members of the public, to information, technology, state facilities, and parks and other recreational opportunities.

All pages included in this Web site meet the acceptable compliance suggestions of Wave 3.0 Web Accessibility Tool.

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In cooperation with the Louisiana Board of Regents and the Disability Law Resource Project
© 2006
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Darlene Williams and Dustin Hebert