EdTech 506: Universal Design Example

Through the reading, I have learned a lot about universal design and visual literacy. Universal design focuses on “making information and learning accessible in the broader sphere of life for all people” (Lohr, 2008, p. 8). Visual literacy works collectively with universal design and is defined as “the ability to understand, use, and create with images effectively” (Braden, 1996). I have come to realize that I use visual literacy quite frequently in my own classroom, without even knowing! The examples in the textbook were very helpful to assist in the understanding of these terms.

keurig instructions

For my example, I found step by step visual instructions on how to use a Keurig Coffee machine. As you can see, the steps are numbered and there are text and visual instructions that go along with each step. The text instructions are displayed in both English and Spanish, making it quite accessible and universal to users. In relation to visual literacy, performance support refers to “something observable and often tangible (e.g., a worksheet, recipe, gas station, bank machine instructions) that helps people do some task at the exact moment that they need help performing that task” (Lohr, 2008, p. 6). This visual does just that.

With further research, I discovered that there are 7 principles of universal design that were founded by the late Ronald Mace and team from North Carolina State University. The 7 principles include: equitable use, flexibility in use, simple and intuitive use, perceptible information, tolerance for error, low physical effort, and size and space for approach and use. For the most part, this example follows the principles fairly well. In order to improve the visual, would suggest that step 4 indicate another caution, warning users that their drink will be hot. It seems like something obvious, yet people burn themselves quite frequently! The visuals could also be a little bit bigger when showing the two buttons to choose from for the size of drink.

Until this assignment, I never considered the importance of universal design and now realize its significance in and outside of the classroom. Now, I am quite aware of examples of visual literacy and can properly evaluate according to the 7 principles.


The 7 Principles. (n.d.). Retrieved January 23, 2016, from http://universaldesign.ie/What-is-Universal-Design/The-7-Principles/

Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance (2nd ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

EdTech 506 – Personal Introduction Image


I chose to do a picture collage for my introduction image. All of these pictures represent the most important parts of my life! The top picture shows fireworks. I love watching fireworks in the summer and my favorite holiday is the 4th of July. The next picture shows marketing with different business concepts. I teach high school marketing and advanced marketing and am also my school’s DECA Advisor. DECA is a business club in which marketing students can be involved. Marketing is everywhere and it’s something I really enjoy teaching! The bottom picture is of the Nebraska state sign. I was born and have lived in Omaha, NE all of my life and it truly is “the good life.” Although some people may think Nebraska sounds like a boring place to live, there is lots to do! Omaha is home to Men’s College World Series. Baseball fans travel from all over the country to experience this fun week of events and it is one of my favorite things to do every summer.

The next 3 pictures shows me with some of my best friends. I attended the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and am a huge Husker fan! Lincoln is about an hour away from Omaha and Husker football is a way of life in Nebraska. The Sea of Red that floods the city of Lincoln during football season is something that everyone should experience. We are avid tailgaters as well and welcome all fans 🙂 I also love to travel. The bottom right picture shows my friends and I after we climbed Mt. Democrat, a 14er (14,154 feet!) mountain in Colorado. I love to go skiing and try to travel a lot during my summers off. My friends are very important to me and that’s why I included them in several pictures! The last picture is a quote that I try to live by. I’m all about giving good vibes and try to have a positive and upbeat attitude with teaching and life. I feel as though if you have a positive attitude you are more enjoyable to be around and it becomes contagious to those around you. Life is pretty busy, but I wouldn’t want it any other way!