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The implementation of inclusive education in South Africa: Reflections arising from a workshop for teachers and therapists to introduce Universal Design for Learning

Elizabeth M. Dalton, Judith A. Mckenzie, Callista Kahonde

African Journal of Disability; Vol 1, No 1 (2012), 7 pages. doi: 10.4102/ajod.v1i1.13

Submitted: 03 November 2011
Published:  13 November 2012


South Africa has adopted an inclusive education policy in order to address barriers to learning in the education system. However, the implementation of this policy is hampered by the lack of teachers’ skills and knowledge in differentiating the curriculum to address a wide range of learning needs. In this paper we provided a background to inclusive education policy in South Africa and a brief exposition of an instructional design approach, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) that addresses a wide range of learning needs in a single classroom. We reported on a workshop conducted with teachers and therapists in South Africa as a first attempt to introduce UDL in this context. Knowledge of UDL was judged to be appropriate and useful by the course participants in the South African context as a strategy for curriculum differentiation in inclusive classrooms. Furthermore, knowledge of the UDL framework facilitates dialogue between teachers and therapists and provides a relatively simple and comprehensive approach for curriculum differentiation. We therefore conclude that there is potential for this approach that can be expanded through further teacher training.

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Author affiliations

Elizabeth M. Dalton, TechACCESS Center, Rhode Island, United States
Judith A. Mckenzie, Disability Studies Programme, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Callista Kahonde, Disability Studies Programme, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa



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