Universal Design for Learning has a very big space in Africa to in terms of education looking at the primitive stage of Africa and the way of engagement, expression and presentation in communication. Africa has quite similar of stories to tell in relation to UDL principles. Ancient Africa has had a lot of recognition because of its civilization and other remarkable events and icons that came with it such as the various writing systems and their way of expression, engagement and how they represented ideas. This was a world where there were lots of ideas but few writings, talk of the hieroglyphs of the Egyptians, proto Saharan scripts of the Maa, geez of the Ethiopians, the Adinkra symbols of the Akans in Ghana, etc. to represent these ideas making it easily exhaustible and understood by the people back then. Most of the writings then were in pictographs and ideographs making it possible to be learned by people from all walks of life, therefore bridging the language difference gap. Today, there are billion tons of words to describe few ideas which requires extra efforts to exhaust.
I remember during my days in high school in Ghana, a group of friends would team up to learn and the only mode of learning was to memorize every single word in different passages of pamphlets. We ended up abbreviating each word in the passage to make it simpler and easy to memorize.
Africans are the best people to relate to UDL as far as learning is concerned. Africa’s adopted approach to learning along the years in most of the education institutions where knowledge is presented in an authoritative traditional way of teaching by a person hoping that every individual; able or disabled will understand, has been found very problematic as far as differences in people is concerned.
Universal Design is definitely the paradigm to instill equality and create different paths for all category of learners regardless of their learning abilities in a single space. My institution uses the Universal Design model as a tool to break language barriers between francophone students and anglophone students in the class. We are an IT based institution with students from different parts of the African continent, mostly the French speaking countries and English-speaking countries. So, we designed a six-month English training program for French Student as part of the main course offered to give them control over the language. Apart from the six-month training we have interpreters to translate modules in French in multiple means as possible to meet the different learning needs of each student.