Justice for All Regardless of Disabilities: Universal Design Strategies


Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Honolulu 1, TAPA


Universal Design (UD) extends beyond accessible materials. It includes classroom activities that enrich the learning process. In teaching pedagogy UD best practices include multi-modal teaching techniques that appeal to an array of different learning styles and multiple intelligences. No subject lends itself better to a UD curriculum than topics around culture and disability.  Rather than simply designing for an “average” student, UD stretches instruction for all potential students with a wide range of diversity in regards to race, ethnicity, class, language, disability or different ability, leading style, and more.  Universal design provides opportunities to go beyond simple compliance to creatively demonstrate inclusiveness and multi-model teaching for diverse learners.  It is an investment for creating a rich, ongoing learning community committed to supporting each other even beyond the classroom.

Learning Outcome

  1. Through creative activities, exercises, and assessments, teachers, trainers and other professionals can enrich their educational practices.  The presenters have a broad range of personal and professional backgrounds and experiences to draw upon to share evidence-based practices as well as promising practices with community support.
  2. Participants will develop a plan to implement curriculum ideas for their classrooms and training sessions. 

Seminar Leaders

Photo: Matthew R. Mock

Matthew R. Mock, PhD has had a longstanding private clinical and consulting practice in Berkeley, California focusing on issues related to diversity, cultural competence and social justice.  Recently he has also been a consultant working to transform college systems in California to better serve racially, culturally and linguistically diverse students.  Considered a distinguished expert on the relevance of multiculturalism in psychotherapy, he is also Professor of Counseling Psychology at John F. Kennedy University in Northern California.  Dr. Mock received his Doctorate and Masters degrees in clinical and consulting psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) and his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Brown University. He served as the statewide Director of the Center for Multicultural Development with the California Institute for Mental Health in Sacramento, California leading initiatives to address disparities and increase cultural competence in public services throughout the state.  Just prior to this, he was Director of the Family, Youth, Children's and Multicultural Services for the City of Berkeley Mental Health Division for 20 years where he also served as Ethnic Services Manager representing system-wide issues.   For over 20 years Dr. Mock has taught an intensive course at CSPP immersing doctoral students into learning within Asian communities in the San Francisco/Bay Area.

Photo: Michelle Hernandez

Michelle Hernandez, PhD., received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University in 2011. As a Latina with a physical disability and a first generation college graduate, Michelle brings a witty and charming style to discussing real life topics such as culture, prejudice, and overcoming adversity in a discriminating society. Her presence and open mindedness brings a genuine liveliness to her speaking engagements.

Dr. Hernandez’ areas of specialty include physical disability, PTSD, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. She trains doctoral level students regarding the various aspects of disability, is passionate about disability advocacy, and is an inspirational public speaker. She is an Ambassador for the Arthritis Foundation, and served for 6 years on the Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities in Oakland, California.  Most recently, she became a Board of Directors member for Easy Does It, a nonprofit agency serving emergency needs for those with disabilities.  Also, she was appointed as a council member for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority where she serves on the Policy Advisory Council in San Francisco.

Photo: Nina G

Nina G is the San Francisco Bay Area's favorite female stuttering stand up comedian (granted she is the only one). She is also a disability activist, storyteller, children's book author and educator. She brings her humor to help people confront and understand social justice issues such as disability, diversity, and equity. 

When she isn’t performing at comedy clubs like the San Francisco Punchline or the Laugh Factory, she is playing colleges and presenting as a keynote speaker to children with disabilities and training professionals!  Nina is part of the comedy troupe The Comedians with Disabilities Act, which brings laughter and awareness to audiences of all ages across the country.    

She is the author of a children’s book titled, Once Upon An Accommodation: A Book About Learning Disabilities, that helps children and adults advocate for their rights as a person with a  Disability.  Nina's one person show, Going Beyond Inspirational, which is a comical exploration about growing up with Learning and Speech Disabilities debuted in 2015 and was featured CBS San Francisco Local.