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Technology, Transitions, and Practicing what you Preach: A Case Study on How an Orientation Program Models Universal Design for Learning

| Proposal No: 905

Bios & Handouts


  • Van Credle, Assistive Technology Specialist, The Catholic University of America
  • Mara Bellino, Learning Disabilities Coordinator, The Catholic University of America

Disability Area:          

Topic Area:                

Length of Session (in hours): 1-hrFormat: Lecture Expertise Level: BeginnerType of session: Not provided

Summary of Session

A case study on a one-day orientation program provided by disability support staff to incoming freshmen, primarily with learning and attention disabilities, to help students transition to from high school to college. The program utilizes the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) with an


Each year, DS professionals host a one-day orientation for incoming freshmen with learning and attention disabilities to help them better transition from high school to college. As this is both the students’ introduction to disability services in the university and the most time-intensive event DS professionals have to interact with a group of registered students, the DS professionals use this event to practice the principles of Universal Design for Learning. This modeling is equally an asset to the students to improve their engagement with information they will need to have a successful start to their college career, and it is beneficial to voluntary faculty and staff participants who want to learn more about principles and practices of UDL.


  1. One day orientation program utilizes UDL to help students with disabilities transition to college
  2. The orientation facilitates learning through technologies and introduces on campus technology to students
  3. Faculty and staff are invited to participate in the orientation to view a model of presentations through UDL

Speaker Bio(s)

Van Credle

The speaker has worked in education and in private companies in the field of assistive technology. She started at Boston University as Alternative Formats Lab Manager developing processes for creating DAISY books and other alternative formats. Then she moved to Dolphin Computer Access where she worked with Ron Stewart as both trainer and marketing coordinator, and she was also a founding employee of Digilife Media, LLC, a digital text publisher. She left to pursue humanitarian work in developing countries and is now State-side working with The Catholic University of America.

Mara Bellino

The speaker graduated from James Madison University with a master's in Exceptional Education. She has been active in education for students with learning disabilities as a peer mentor in disability services and also receiving the Virginia Scholars Award for Key Woman Educators. She has been working as Learning Disability Coordinator at the Catholic University of America since 2011 and has spearheaded efforts to outreach to students including Disability Awareness Month events and coordinating DSS Student Ambassadors.