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Universally Designed Leadership: Applying UDL to Systems and Schools


Katie Novak & Kristan Rodriguez



UDL Leadership book cover

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(ISBN: 9781930583627)

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(ISBN: 9781930583634)

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About the Book

The new Every Student Succeeds Act governing K-12 education in the United States defines and endorses Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a framework to help achieve greater opportunity and academic achievement for all learners, including those with disabilities, English learners, and “gifted and talented” students.

In this book, veteran school leaders Novak and Rodriguez provide school leaders and educators with a guidebook for putting the UDL framework into practice. They show how to guide district and school staff in discussions around student data and use the UDL guidelines to shape curriculum decisions. Universally Designed Leadership is a must-read for any education leader who wants to create more equitable, inclusive, and effective learning environments.

Universally Designed Leadership by Katie Novak and Kristan Rodriguez is available in paperback ($35.00, 136 pages, ISBN: 9781930583627) and EPUB ($35.00, ISBN: 9781930583634) format.

Table of Contents

Katie Novak & Kristan Rodriguez on Universally Designed Leadership

Watch the entire series of short videos to get behind-the-scenes insights from Katie and Kristan about Universally Designed Leadership.

Universally Designed Leadership Playlist

Praise for the Book

Universally Designed Leadership is the practitioners’ guide to successful strategic implementation of Universal Design for Learning. This timely and relevant work provides a road map for education leaders to engage school communities in defining the why, what, and how of learning. A must-read for emerging and veteran school leaders alike.

Dr. Thomas Scott, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents


Universally Designed Leadership is a much-needed addition to the field. Novak and Rodriguez present the fundamentals of exploring, preparing, and integrating Universal Design for Learning (UDL) into schools and districts. They focus on the practical steps to shifting cultures in schools and districts to embrace UDL, including creating a shared vision to embrace UDL, conducting needs assessments to guide the work, and developing logic models to guide this pursuit. Written in a conversational, straightforward style, Universally Designed Leadership will surely be a go-to guide for the novice and veteran administrator alike.

Martin Scanlan, Associate Professor, Boston College’s Lynch School of Education

About the Authors

Photo of author Katie Novak

Katie Novak, EdD, is an internationally renowned education consultant, author, graduate instructor at the University of Pennsylvania, and a former Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Massachusetts. Katie has more than 19 years of experience in teaching and administration, an earned doctorate in curriculum and teaching, and ten published books, including the best-selling education book, UDL Now!.

You can find her online at and on Twitter at @KatieNovakUDL.

More from Katie Novak

Photo of author Kristan Rodriguez

Kristan Rodriguez, Ph.D., is a successful consultant and former superintendent specializing in Universal Design for Learning. Dr. Rodriguez earned a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Boston College and has had a career as a K-12 administrator, college professor, and consultant since 2001. She has presented nationally on leadership and learning for the past 16 years. In both her speaking and writing, she draws upon her experience as a central office administrator, building administrator, teacher, and professor. Dr. Rodriguez is the founder of Rodriguez Educational Consulting Agency.

You can follow Dr. Rodriguez on Twitter at @dr_rodriguez21.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Building Your Understanding
  • Chapter 2: Using Evidence-Based Decision-Making to Begin the Work
  • Chapter 3: Analyzing and Interpreting the Data for the Needs Assessment
  • Chapter 4: UDL and Strategic Thinking
  • Chapter 5: An Integrated District Strategy
  • Chapter 6: Professional Development That Models UDL Principles
  • Chapter 7: UDL in the Classroom
  • Chapter 8: UDL and the Art of the Meeting
  • Chapter 9: UDL Family-Community Engagement
  • Afterword
  • Appendix
  • References
  • Index
  • Acknowledgments

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