Faculty nominations sought for Universal Design Award

The Accessible Education Center invites nominations for the fifth annual University of Oregon Faculty Excellence in Universal Design Award.

Students, instructors, advisers and other professional staff are encouraged to nominate faculty members and graduate employees who exemplify accessibility in the design and implementation of their courses. The award will honor an instructor who has excelled in those areas in either in-person or remote environments over the course of the 2021-22 academic year.

A nomination form is available online with nominations accepted through April 24. The award recipient will receive $1,000.

The UO’s Accessible Education Center works both individually with students with disabilities to ensure they receive full access to their education and also more widely with the university community on initiatives such as promoting principles of universal design in learning for the benefit all students.

Excellence in universal design involves the development and implementation of flexible curriculum and instruction to ensure equity and access for all learners. Universal design in learning means creating equitable access to education through curriculum that “reflects an awareness of the unique nature of each learner and the need to address differences,” according to the Center for Applied Special Technology.

A universal design curriculum offers multiple ways for learners to engage with information, multiple means of information representation, and multiple options for expressing and communicating knowledge.

Flexibility, ingenuity and thoughtful and intentional design in curriculum has been even more important during the COVID-19 era, when teaching has needed to consider options for remote, hybrid and in-person learning.

Recent award winners have included cinema studies assistant professor Masami Kawai, and Lundquist College of Business senior instructor Joshua Skov.