Founded in 1984 as the Center for Applied Special Technology, CAST has earned international recognition for its development of innovative approaches to expanding educational opportunities for all individuals based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
CAST developed the UDL framework in the 1990s as a way to design learning environments that reduce barriers to the curriculum while maintaining high achievement standards for all learners. UDL calls for:
- Multiple means of representation, to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge
- Multiple means of action and expression, to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know
- Multiple means of engagement, to tap into learners’ interests, offer appropriate challenges and increase motivation
Today, UDL frames all of the organization’s research and development. Through strategic collaborations, CAST is seeding the field of curriculum planning, software development, state and national policy, teacher preparation and support and education research with UDL-based solutions.