Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 112–123

Increasing Accessibility in Couple and Family Therapy Training: Incorporating Universal Design for Instruction

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10591-012-9178-6

Cite this article as:
Bernal, A.T. & Zera, D.A. Contemp Fam Ther (2012) 34: 112. doi:10.1007/s10591-012-9178-6


In the last three decades the number of US graduate students with disabilities has increased exponentially. Institutions of higher education have responded by developing and implementing multiple programs and initiatives to meet the needs of this population. One initiative, Universal Design for Instruction (UDI), is believed to have considerable promise. There is a lack of marriage and family therapy (MFT) literature on how to develop and implement pedagogical strategies for students with disabilities and diverse learning styles. Thus, UDI has the potential to enable MFT educators to increasingly foster inclusivity and provide accessible educational experiences for all students, including those with disabilities. When correctly incorporated UDI should diminish the need for individualized accommodations and increase the accessibility of courses and clinical training. We provide a synopsis of the history and philosophy of UDI and describe strategies for applying its nine principles to MFT education.


Family therapy educationEducational accessibilityLearning disabilitiesPhysical disabilities

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marriage and Family TherapyFairfield UniversityFairfieldUSA
  2. 2.Department Psychological and Educational ConsultationFairfield UniversityFairfieldUSA