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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Universal design (new Sec. 300.44) (proposed Sec. 300.43)

Comment: Many commenters requested including the full definition of universal design in the regulations, rather than providing a reference to the definition of the term.

Discussion: The term universal design is defined in the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended. For the reasons set forth earlier in this notice, we are not including in these regulations full definitions of terms that are defined in other statutes. However, we will include the definition of this term from section 3 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 3002, here for reference.

The term universal design means a concept or philosophy for designing and delivering products and services that are usable by people with the widest possible range of functional capabilities, which include products and services that are directly accessible (without requiring assistive technologies) and products and services that are interoperable with assistive technologies.

Changes: None.

Comment: Several commenters stated that the definition of universal design should be changed to include the universal design of academic content standards, curricula, instructional materials, and assessments.

Discussion: The definition of universal design is statutory. Congress clearly intended that we use this specific definition when it used this term in the Act. We do not believe we can change this definition as suggested by the commenters.

Changes: None.