By: Mindshift | Published 13 April 2018

In her TEDx talk, Elise Roy describes how losing her hearing when she was a child forced her to become an excellent problem solver because she was able to identify issues someone else might not have ever noticed. Growing up, she had to design innovative solutions to challenges that arose in her everyday life, picked herself up from failure, tried new strategies and eventually succeeded. She sees her disability as a tremendous strength now that she’s a designer. She experiences the world differently from other people, and that unique perspective allows her to design innovative solutions.

Roy makes a strong case for designing environments and tools with disabilities in mind from the start. Solutions created this way are not only inclusive — they’re also better for everyone. Her pitch echoes calls for Universal Design for Learning (UDL) within the education community, as the entire field recognizes that children are all different and one size doesn’t fit all.

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