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Successful Transition for Students with Special Needs: Advocating for Universal Design for Learning in Classrooms

Wed November 29, 2017: 11:00 am-12:00 pm EST

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Special needs student reading at the library

Research has shown that all students and especially those receiving special education who follow a carefully crafted transition plan are more likely to achieve post-secondary success. Helping professionals can craft these plans, but many may not be aware of the various resources available to ensure students’ successful transition. One of the main resources available to parents/guardians and students are their classroom teachers. Teachers who incorporate transition-related content into instruction using universal design for learning (UDL) principles are in the best position to set up students for post-secondary success. It is necessary that parents/guardians and students are trained to inform teachers about UDL and advocate for their use in classroom instruction on an ongoing basis.

The objectives of this webinar are to introduce attendees to:

  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles for instruction.
  • Employability skills that can be taught using UDL principles.
  • Ways in which parent/guardians and students can self-advocate for UDL to be incorporated in classrooms.


Lakshmi Mahadevan has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Career Development Education from Texas A&M University. Her areas of expertise include career assessment, post-secondary options for individuals with special needs, special education and multicultural career counseling. As Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Special Populations, Dr. Mahadevan has over ten years of experience in conducting face-to-face and online professional development with educators in Texas addressing various special populations-related issues (particularly students with disabilities and English Language Learners). Her other activities include program evaluation, conducting workshops and presentations, preparing newsletters, creating webcasts and special interest web materials, maintaining and supervising the design of online modules, maintaining websites, liaison with stakeholders and experts, preparing evaluation reports, and providing technical assistance.

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