ATU and MTU Host Successful National Conference Promoting Inclusion in Higher Education

Tuesday, June 06, 2023
Press Releases
UDL standing letters

Atlantic Technological University (ATU) and Munster Technological University (MTU) partnered to organise the highly anticipated third annual Climbing the UDL Ladder Conference. The successful event took place on Thursday, June 1, at Hume Hall on ATU Sligo campus. The conference served as a platform to celebrate and promote Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in higher education, showcasing remarkable efforts being made locally, nationally, and worldwide to improve access and foster inclusion for all students.

ATU and MTU have emerged as national leaders in advocating for UDL and have made significant progress in recent years. With the participation of renowned guest speakers from across the country and internationally, this year's conference focused on three key themes: UDL in leadership, advancing UDL in the classroom, and empowering an inclusive student experience. The chosen themes underscored the critical importance of a comprehensive institutional approach to address accessibility and inclusion.

Dr Niamh Plunkett, Head of Teaching and Learning at ATU Sligo and ATU Lead for the Conference, emphasised the significance of a multifaceted perspective, stating, "Our focus this year was on overcoming obstacles to enhance and sustain UDL collaboration in tertiary education by embracing diverse viewpoints that are crucial to advancing UDL and creating inclusive learning environments for all."

In addition to the three main themes, the conference placed special emphasis on the achievements of the PATH 4 Phase 1 Project, sponsored by the Higher Education Authority. This nationwide initiative aims to enhance inclusion and accessibility for all students through the implementation of UDL. ATU and MTU have taken the lead in numerous national projects and have demonstrated remarkable innovation and initiatives within their respective institutions.

Niamh Plunkett added “The Climbing the UDL Ladder Conference was a resounding success, attracting over 150 attendees to Sligo for an enriching and inspiring day of learning and collaboration. ATU and MTU are thrilled to be at the forefront of this dynamic drive for innovation in higher education, supporting and engaging a broader student population.”

Aileen Kennedy, Assistant Registrar and Head of Student Engagement and Teaching and Learning, and PATH 4 Universal Design Project Lead at MTU,  in acknowledgement of the power of the  partnership with Niamh Plunkett, and colleagues  at ATU in bringing the event to fruition, highlighted the importance of events such as this that facilitate national collaborative tertiary education discussions to create solidarity of voice to advance strategic policy and practice changes that provide equitable education experiences for all. 

For those interested in learning more about the event, please visit the Conference Website for further details and updates.