A Graphic Designer’s Perspective on Universal Design for Learning

Presented at 4:20pm in Westminster I on Thursday, November 21, 2019.



  • Lance Hidy, Accessible Media Specialist, Northern Essex Community College

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


This is a case study of a campaign to bring UDL to a small community college. As part of a three person team, the speaker brought his experience as graphic artist to the project. The result has been a growing interest among faculty and staff in producing more professional-looking documents that are not only accessible, but also user-friendly.


The speaker was for 18 years a half-time professor of graphic design and photography at a small community college in Massachusetts. His students with disabilities inspired him to join forces with the directors of disability services and instructional technology to promote UDL. This lecture describes their experience, focusing on the strategies that gradually attracted more attention from faculty and staff, and earned tentative interest from senior administrators.

Successful projects included workshops for skills in both accessibility and basic graphic design in Microsoft Word. The speaker also worked with faculty to develop icons for every major offered by the college. This has shifted the culture of the college toward greater use of images in course materials—an element of UDL that is often intimidating to faculty who have not been trained in visual literacy. The lecture will be illustrated with the instructional materials that have been effective in the college's UDL campaign.


  1. Learn how one community college developed a campaign for UDL.
  2. The college is putting equal emphasis on user-friendly design and accessibility.
  3. A college-wide project to promote use of icons highlights an often neglected area of UDL.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Administrative/Campus Policy, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Lance Hidy

Lance Hidy is the Accessible Media Specialist, part-time, at Northern Essex Community College, where he was a half-time professor of art and design for 18 years. Fifty years of experience running his own graphic art studio resulted in internationally-recognized poster designs; designing three U.S. postage stamps; creating a family of 16 fonts for Adobe; designing the Ansel Adams photography books for Little, Brown and the Ansel Adams Trust; and many writings on design theory, history, and practice published in peer-reviewed books and journals.