Did you know that students with diagnosed learning and thinking differences make up 5% of the U.S. student population? Also, an additional 15% of the student population has significant learning differences but has not been formally identified or diagnosed. Our work at ANet is to help educators shift their mindsets from a deficit view to an assets-based view, and develop the skills and knowledge necessary to maintain high expectations for all students, including those with learning and thinking differences. The resources below are a starting point for building a toolkit of holistic and equitable student support. To dig deeper, reach out to your ANet coach.


Develop an Asset-Based Mindset

Resource Description  Tips for Implementation

Through Your Child’s Eyes 


2-3 minute video simulations across content areas showing how it feels to learn and think differently.  After watching, discuss with colleagues the positive and negative impact that classmates, teachers, and leaders can have on students’ social-emotional and academic outcomes.

Misunderstood Minds


Interactive simulations across content areas showing what it’s like to learn and think differently. Includes strategies and suggestions to help.  After completing a simulation,  reflect independently or with colleagues on the strategies you used to attempt the tasks and how your experience impacted your motivation and emotions.

Embracing Learner Variability in Schools

Digital Promise

2 minute video wherein the co-founder of CAST discusses the importance of designing a learning environment that both expects and values all students’ unique strengths and needs. 

After watching, start a conversation with the following prompt:  “Where do each of us land on the spectrum?” Leverage the metaphor of school as an orchestra to name the strengths of individuals that could be better “amplified.” 

Examine the Intersections of My Own Experience

Resource Description  Tips for Implementation

Implicit Bias Test


5 minute tests measuring the attitudes and beliefs that you may be unwilling or unable to diagnose. As pre-work to a PLC or school-wide development session, have each individual take the Implicit Bias Test for Disability.  While this IAT is more focused on physical (dis)ability, the findings can spark personal reflection on internalized bias across a wider spectrum of (dis)abilities, including learning and thinking differences.

Exploring Identity Markers 

Elena Aguilar

(Dis)ability is experienced in different ways by each individual, based on their other intersectional identity markers. This is an activity that will help you understand your sociopolitical identities and their influence on your life.  Use this activity in one-on-one coaching, or in a PLC, to foster reflection on how our own identity markers influence how we engage with the world, and on what we do and don’t know about our students’ identity markers and their experience in the world.

SEL for Educators Toolkit


Toolkit including a presentation, resources and mini-modules designed to support educators with their own well-being. 

In a PLC, explore one mini-module per session allowing a space for teachers to reflect, discuss, and practice with each high leverage element. 

Explore Universal Design for Learning



Tips for Implementation

5 Tips for Fostering Expert Learners 


3-page article listing practical ways to develop Expert Learners, a goal for UDL.  School leaders and instructional coaches can model these 5 tips as they design teacher development, and build a school culture of teaching and learning.  Teachers can leverage tips in the classroom across all ages.

The UDL Guidelines


Framework to improve teaching and learning based on the science of how humans learn. Spend time in a PLC discussing how each of the three neural networks (affective, recognition, and strategic ) can guide deeper understanding of the current barriers that exist for students in the learning environment. Explore multiple means of engagement, representation, and action & expression that will allow ALL students to achieve success.

Antiracism and Universal Design for Learners



1 hour webinar challenging educator mindsets and systems that stifle Black and Brown learners. 

Use this webinar alongside the UDL Guidelines and Whole Child Framework to shift mindsets and reflect on how and when your school system is stifling Black and Brown learners.

Plan and Teach with Intention

Resource Description  Tips for Implementation

ANet’s UDL Planning Guide


Three-step planning guidance to implement UDL into the lesson planning process.  In grade-level PLCs, use Universal Design for Learning as the framework for developing or internalizing year-long plans, unit plans, and lesson plans.  This is not a “lesson plan template” but it does offer space to capture notes and reflection at each step along the way.

Lesson Planning Template 


Template and tips on adapting a lesson plan using UDL principles.  With steps that align closely to ANet’s recommended Teaching and Learning Cycle, this article and the accompanying template is another flexible option to support teacher lesson planning using the UDL framework.  Most helpful for planning at the lesson level. 

See UDL in action in the classroom


10 minute interview with footage of how a 5th-grade teacher incorporates UDL principles into his teaching and environment.  Watch and discuss this video with colleagues, reflecting on how Mr. Crouch has used multiple means of engagement, representation, and action & expression to foster his 5th-grade students’ confidence, engagement, and content expertise.  Think about what short and long-term goals and long-term goals you can set in your own practice.

6 Models of Co-Teaching


Article describing the benefits and challenges of 6 common co-teaching structures. Leaders, use while setting a vision for co-teaching. Teachers, use while you’re navigating a co-teaching relationship.  Anchoring in an article to discuss what model is the best fit in which situation can provide a “neutral” support for proactive planning and reactive problem-solving.

Lessons for All


Example scripts, audio and templates for co-planning in just 5, 15, or 45 minutes.  Time is precious.  Teachers, use these templates to prioritize what’s most important for the success of students with IEPs.  Listen to the audio examples with colleagues and reflect on how similar or different your current planning routines are.  Leaders and instructional coaches should think about how their structures and priorities do or don’t support these types of conversations.

Use Data Holistically

Resource Description  Tips for Implementation

Implementing Holistic Data Systems Empowering Collaboration Across Staff


2 minute video interview showing the importance of holistic and integrated data systems.

When planning for data meetings, take a couple of minutes to watch this example of how multiple types of data inform one another, and how collaboration routines, structures, and relationships support both teacher and student success and school culture.


Disclaimer: Many of these links take you to external organizations. It is your responsibility to ensure you comply with any copyright or permissions restrictions before using these materials.