Where Universal Design for Learning, the Internet, and Adults Meet: Exploring the Intersectionality of Equitable Access to Ongoing Learning


As technology slowly becomes ubiquitous in daily life and work, more and more learning opportunities have moved online. Rationales for organizations and institutions to shift to digital resources and learning spaces include increased access, flexible scheduling, demand, and even economies of scale. Yet, the assumption that learners have equitable access to these opportunities is often erroneous, especially if those learners have lower literacy skills, inadequate access to reliable Internet, and financial barriers impacting data usage and appropriate devices for learning. Moreover, providing equitable access to online learning spaces must also include considerations of universal design for learning (UDL) and of the unique learning characteristics of adults. Based on work and research in instructional design, accessibility, and adult learning contexts, this study is an exploration of the intersectionality that impacts adult learner success in online spaces and of the design and assessment elements that contribute to that success. Reflecting this intersectionality, this study crosses into multiple research themes.


Wendy Kraglund Gauthier
Associate Dean (Research) | Chair, Adult Education, Faculty of Education, Yorkville University, New Brunswick, Canada


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Considering Digital Pedagogies


Adult Learning, Equity, Instructional Design, Intersectionality, UDL

Digital Media