The Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship


This theoretical paper comprised the development of a conceptual framework for blending academic and transition content to help members of the special education field meet both the academic and transition needs of students with disabilities, including students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The current conceptual framework was used to explain how the components from Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and transition are blended to create the Universal Design for Transition (UDT) framework, which is a guide for implementing and promoting barrier-free transitions. In the current study, the final conceptual framework included multiple components that use the following UDL academic principles: (a) multiple means of representation, (b) multiple means of expression, and (c) multiple means of engagement. The UDL concept of barrier-free learning was combined with the transition-based principles of: (a) multiple life domains, (b) multiple means of assessment, (c) self- determination, and (d) multiple resources and perspectives, to form the UDT conceptual framework. Implications and planning for future research regarding the UDT framework are discussed.