About

Louis Olander

Louis is a doctoral candidate in the Urban Education program at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center, and teaches graduate and undergraduate students about inclusive education in the Special Education department at Hunter College. His research interests are universal design, appreciative inquiry, and participatory action research. Louis previously taught special education in New York City.

He lives in Yonkers with his wife and two kids. He is the primary contact for this site and can be reached at louis@udlforteachers.com


Matt Bergman

Matt Bergman is a Learning Technologies Specialist at the Milton Hershey School (Hershey, PA), who works with students living in poverty. He is the course designer of Regional Training Center’s (PA, MD, and NJ) graduate course on Universal Design for Learning. As a member of CAST’s Professional Learning Cadre, he is able to share his experiences utilizing the UDL framework while working with diverse populations. Matt is passionate about sharing his knowledge of educational technology with educators around the globe through presentations and his Learn-Lead-Grow Blog (bergman-udl.blogspot.com). For more ideas or questions, please feel free to contact him at mattbergman14@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @mattbergman14.


María Cioè-Peña

María is currently an Assistant Professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey. She earned her PhD in the Urban Education from The Graduate Center – City University of New York. She is a former elementary school teacher whose passion for children and social justice in education pushes her to fight for equity and full inclusion for children of diverse backgrounds and abilities. María’s research focuses on bilingual children with dis/abilities, their families and their ability to access multilingual learning spaces within NYC public schools. Her interests are deeply rooted in language practices and dis/ability awareness within schools and families. María is currently an Assistant Professor at Montclair State University. María is also the First Place winner of the 2019 Outstanding Dissertation of the Year Award from the National Association for Bilingual Education.


Kathy Furlong-Silverio

Kathryn Furlong Silverio, MSW, MSEd is currently a Clinical Professor of Special Education at Hunter College in New York, NY. Professor Furlong Silverio obtained her Bachelors in Classical Languages from St. Bonaventure University in Western NY State, as well as a Masters in Social Work from Boston College prior to obtaining her Masters in Education from the Hunter College, Special Education Department, Learning Disabilities program.She has experience as an elementary special education teacher for students with disabilities in collaboratively taught classrooms, as well as a Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS) provider. Professor Furlong Silverio also served as the Special Education Liaison, co-chair of Pupil Personnel Team and new teacher Mentor during her time in the New York City Public Schools. She previously worked as a Clinical Social Worker at Boston Children’s Hospital working with families with and expecting children with a wide range of medical diagnoses and disabilities.


Kristen Hodnett

Kristen L. Hodnett is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Special Education at Hunter College in New York City and a part time consultant for Understood.org.  Mrs. Hodnett has been a teacher in both the special education and general education setting in addition to being a literacy coach. She has worked in both elementary and secondary education in New York City and suburban districts in New Jersey. In the Learning Disabilities program at Hunter College, Mrs. Hodnett teaches courses in the following areas: The Study of Learning Disabilities, Inclusive Education, Methods of Reading, Classroom Management and Supervised Clinical Teaching.


Helen Kubilus

Helen W. Kubilus is the 7th grade math teacher at Bronx Community Charter School (BXC), a small progressive learning community in the Norwood neighborhood of the Bronx. Prior to joining the middle school staff, Helen taught elementary school at BXC and worked with children with autism at The McCarton School. As a member of the middle school staff, Helen has worked alongside her colleagues to create learning spaces where all students can access grade level content by utilizing the UDL framework to design curriculum. Helen has served on the school’s leadership and professional development committees, focusing her work on creating spaces where educators can share inclusive practices.


Sarah Metzger

Sarah is an Early Childhood Specialist working in the International School sector. Prior to working overseas, Sarah worked in the Virginia state school system and in the public-school system in the UK. She has worked with students throughout the early years and elementary levels and has helped develop curriculum that is reflective of different cultures and experiences. Sarah is a passionate math educator. She enjoys working with others encouraging their practices and supporting parents with how to engage in math in the home environment.


Kaitlin Mondello

Kaitlin Mondello received her Ph.D. in English from The Graduate Center, CUNY in 2018, and is a Lauder Postdoctoral Fellow at the Teaching and Learning Center. Her work focuses on interdisciplinary teaching and research in the environmental humanities, experiential learning, and writing pedagogy. She served as a Writing Across the Curriculum Fellow for the Environmental Justice Program at John Jay College and The School of Professional Studies at CUNY. She has over ten years of college teaching experience and served as Co-Director of the Writing Center at her alma mater, Stetson University. She is the editor of the blog Visible Pedagogy .


Samantha Mosher

Samantha Mosher is currently a Junior School Learning Specialist at the United Nations International School in New York, NY where she is working with faculty and administration to develop an RtI program for math intervention. Previously she has worked as a learning specialist at the middle school level, and English teacher, and a literacy coach/program coordinator at schools in New York City. In addition, Sam is a teacher educator, teaching courses in Special Education, Literacy, and Assessment at CUNY Hunter College and Teachers College, Columbia University.


Carlos Pérez Valle

Carlos Pérez Valle is an aspiring Speech Pathologist. He is currently a Macaulay Bridge Scholar at Bronx Community College and Lehman College. Carlos attended New York City public schools up to eighth grade and is now creating a career in providing equitable education opportunities by working closely with educational nonprofit organizations to operate and launch programs that inform, educate and serve low-income and immigrant communities.


Jenn Polish

Dr. Jenn Polish is the author of two young adult books, LUNAV and LOST BOY, FOUND BOY (March 2018, NineStar Press). They have taught Theater and English in the CUNY system (LaGuardia Community College and Queens College), and they received their PhD in English at the CUNY Graduate Center. Their academic work focuses on the intersections of race and dis/ability in college writing classrooms. jpolish.com.