The Routledge publication of “Adopting a UDL Attitude within Academia” was celebrated with authors, Mary Quirke, Conor McGuckin and Patricia McCarthy, together with Gaston (Patricia’s guide dog), Library staff and colleagues this week (July 12th) in the foyer of the Library. The book is an interesting project whilst also an exciting contribution to the discourse on inclusion on campus. The authors themselves are an interesting team in that Mary is completing her PhD, with Dr McGuckin and Dr McCarthy who are colleagues in the School of Education.
While the book bridges the gap between the theory and practice of UDL (Universal Design for Learning), a design framework for inclusion, it very clearly sets out the “thinking” needed in our increasingly diverse learning environments.
The book is not just intended for those leading classrooms and this is very evident from the variety of contributors across the publication. Our very own subject librarian, is one of many international contributors. Geraldine Fitzgerald shares her experience of developing inclusive practice in Chapter 8 and how in her role as subject librarian for Education, she regarded UDL as a useful personal learning concept. Geraldine has successfully applied UDL with colleagues resulting in positive inclusive change across the Library and has continued to collaborate on projects relating to improving the library’s sensory environment and improving accessibility to resources.
This book encompasses all the values of inclusion. It pushes the boundaries and engages all on campus. The inclusion of subject librarian, Geraldine, was integral as when we first think about information in a campus setting, our thoughts are never too far away from what we need to read. Whilst the librarians and their expertise are important to the discussion of inclusion, these colleagues do not stand alone as the gatekeepers. Each and every one of us has a role to play.
That is the essence of the book − it shares the attitude necessary for inclusion, where inclusion is everyone’s business.
The book will have a broad appeal and is essential reading for anyone looking to understand and implement UDL across their learning environment.
There is a book launch planned Sept 7th 2023, so do put the date in your diary! Further details to follow.
Submitted by Author Mary Quirke