UDL is Looking AHEAD in Ireland! with Dara Ryder

Lillian talks with Dara Ryder, the Digital Media and eLearning Manager for AHEAD, the Association for Higher Education Access & Disability, in Dublin, Ireland. Besides his incredible work with AHEAD’s digital learning priorities, including a digital badge for Universal Design in Teaching and Learning, Dara is also very much involved in policy and research with UDL in Ireland. Today we have the pleasure of discussing the far-reaching and impressive progress that AHEAD has made with UDL implementation, the resources that AHEAD has made available to instructors in Europe and beyond, and the upcoming AHEAD conference this March entitled “Journey to Oz.” By the end of this podcast, you’ll want to hop a flight to Dublin to experience it all! Luckily, though, you don’t have to because Dara is here to tell us all about it and how and where we can access these resources wherever we are and whenever we have the time. Let’s enter the global UDL conversation!


AHEAD (the Association for Higher Education Access & Disability) video explains AHEAD’s work through the story of Sean, a student with a disability working his way through college and employment, and how AHEAD helps him along the way.

The Inclusive Practice Pyramid video: This pyramid describes best practice for inclusion in higher education from the disability support service to the mainstream classroom. Brought to you by AHEAD and DAWN. AHEAD’s mission is to shape a future where students with disabilities can succeed and the promotion of UDL is just one string/tool in that bow – you can see where it fits in our vision of inclusive education institutions in this short video.

The AHEAD Journal releases twice a year which promotes inclusive education and employment practices and regularly features Universal Design for Learning articles such as Dr. Abigail Moriarty’s tale of a campus wide UDL implementation in the latest issue.

Digital Badge for Universal Design in Teaching and Learning is awarded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning which is a state body for promoting good teaching and learning in further and higher education. It is a short course aimed at getting people interested and the assignment associated with it gets them to make one change to their practice based on what they’ve learned and report on it. The reports are then made available to everyone else on the course so the ideas can be shared and learning communities created. Individuals or potential facilitators can run it in their own institutions, so it’s entirely scalable.

Active Inclusion Network – Cork ETB video that details experiences of instructors completing the digital badge in Universal Design for Teaching and Learning.

AHEAD Conference 2019 Europe’s largest conference around disability support and UDL with 200-250 participants from across the globe. The latest programme features contributions from Canada, USA, Brazil, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Norway, Sweden, Italy and Ireland of course!!! Road Map for Disability Support in Higher Education in Ireland is laying out a vision for a HE system with UD principles at its heart and examining the changing role of disability support staff as we move towards a more inclusive mainstreamed approach and away from the add-on model of support


Not yet available. Will be posted ASAP.