Promoting quality inclusive education through Universal Design for Learning (UDL)


Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta (UNY) held the 1st Indonesian Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Summit 2023 at the Rectorate Main Conference Room on Friday (7/7). The summit, attended by more than 300 participants online and offline, was opened by UNY Vice Rector for Planning and Finance Prof. Lantip Diat Prasojo, representing the Rector and attended by Deputy Cultural Affairs Officer of the US Embassy Abraham Lee.

Project Leader of AEIF and AGS UNY Pujaningsih, Ed.D said this activity was held with the support of the 2022 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund program fully funded by the US Embassy, the 2022 Alumni Grant Scheme (AGS) Program funded by the Australian government, and Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta. "In this summit, there are several agendas such as national seminars and panel presentations from lecturers who have implemented UDL in their respective universities," he said. On this occasion, best practices implemented in several universities were also presented. It is hoped that all universities in Indonesia can be disability-friendly.

The resource persons in this activity were the Chairman of the National Commission on Disability Dr. Dante Rigmalia, a UDL Specialist from Thompson Rivers University Canada Dr. Frederic Foved and Prof. Dr. David Evans from The University of Sydney. On this occasion, a memorandum of understanding was also signed between UNY and the National Commission on Disability.

Chairman of the National Commission on Disability Dr. Dante Rigmalia explained that elementary school graduates with mobility and finger and hand visual disabilities dominate the condition of the Indonesian disability workforce. In contrast, the hearing and communication disability group is dominated by the workforce who have graduated or do not have a diploma. This point, of course, weakens the competitiveness of persons with disabilities in the world of work. "Related to the rights of persons with disabilities is to get quality education in education units in all types of pathways and levels, to have equal opportunities to become educators or education personnel and as organizers of quality education," he said.

According to Dante, education is a basic and inclusive right, but the fact is that only 2.8% of statements with disabilities complete education up to college. The difficulty in obtaining the right to education is due to the socio-economic status of parents with disabilities, negative attitudes and lack of training to meet the educational needs of persons with disabilities, starting at the early childhood education level to college. In addition, the stigma against persons with disabilities and families with members with disabilities and educational infrastructure that is not yet accessible, there are still educators and test administrators who do not understand to serve students with disabilities, contributing to the lack of access to education.

Dante hopes that universities can do community service through training and socialization and that all have the right to achieve and participate without discrimination. In addition, it is expected that there will be courses on sensitivity to people with disabilities in all study programs, student forum activities for caring for people with disabilities, affirmation for people with disabilities in new student admissions and forming a disability service unit on a disability-friendly campus document system.

Frederic Foved delivered a paper Promoting Inclusion and UDL Implementation in Higher Education, Best Practice in Canada, while David Evans explained UDL best practice in Australia. (UDL is an approach that aims to provide greater educational opportunities for all learners, including students with disabilities and can be applied in various settings. Studies on UDL training for university lecturers suggest that UDL-trained lecturers report feeling more comfortable meeting the needs of students with disabilities, promoting student success. This UDL Summit 2023 activity is the closing of a series of UDL workshops and, at the same time, launching UDL training based on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which can be accessed online by the academic community in Indonesia. (Author: Dedy, Editor: Sudaryono, Tj.Lak)

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