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Kirsten Behling

Kirsten Behling, MA
Associate Dean, Student Accessibility and Academic Resources

Tufts University

About Me.

I grew up at a time when special education was one-dimensional in that the only option was a pull-out model if resources existed at all. I watched family and friends struggle to get the education that they needed in the location that they lived. The inequitable journey that they had to navigate became the focus of my career.   


I began my disability services profession writing and managing grants through the United States Department of Education, empowering faculty to be more inclusive instructors. I then transitioned into higher education as a Disability Services Professional. I have had the pleasure of working at four different institutions, each with its own idiosyncrasies. I have also consulted and worked with many other institutions of higher education around Universal Design for Learning, and disability services best practices. My professional goal is to embrace the diversity of learners by providing educators with the tools they need to engage and instruct students with flexibility and excitement. 

Areas of Expertise.

Shadow on the Wall


Universal Design for Learning

  • UDL overview and "plus one" strategies for faculty

  • Guidance on UDL use in student services offices

  • Access, awareness, and application for faculty and staff


Disability Services in Higher Education

  • Audit of and strategizing for disability services offices in higher education

  • Customized planning around how to enrich a current disability services office

  • In-term leadership for disability services

  • Guidance on using data to showcase the success and needs of an office


Teaching Experience

  • UDL Faculty Fellows Program

  • Introduction to Disability Services in Higher Education

  • Assistive Tech, Emerging Tech, and Web Access for Disability

Sample Presentations.

  • Introduction and Implementation: Putting UDL into College Courses.

  • Tackling the Trickiest Disability Access Situations in Higher Education and Graduate School.

  • Accidental UDL: How COVID was the impetus for UDL Adoption.

  • Navigating the change of teaching modalities in Higher Education, with Access at the Forefront.

  • An Introduction to Universal Design for Learning as a Social Justice Method.

  • How to talk to faculty and Campus Leaders about Universal Design for Learning.

  • Disability Services in Higher Education: Shared Best Practices.

  • Transitioning to Higher Education, Strategies for Students and their Families.


  • Behling, K., Bellemore, E., Bibeau, L., Cioffi, A., McNamee, B. (2023) Introduction to Disability Services in Higher Education – A Insider’s Guide. Temple University Press, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Behling, K. & Posey, A. (Pending, 2024). UDL in American Colleges & Universities: A Common Pathway to Success. In Dukes, L. & Madaus, J. Research Handbook on Higher Education and Disability. Edward Elgar Publishing. 

  • Behling, K. (Pending, 2023). The power of data: Using AHEAD’s Code of Ethics to Measure the Impact of a Disability Service Office. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability Services. Special Edition.

  • Behling, K. “Researching Accidental UDL with Kirsten Behling.” Think UDL Podcast, Lillian Nave. 2022.

  • Behling K. & Tobin, T. “Universal Design for Learning, Watch this Beauty Unfold with K. Behling and T. Tobin.” Teaching for Student Success. 2022.

  • Behling, K., Bibeau, L., Pillette, K. (2021). Accidental UDL: A Silver Lining of the COVID Pandemic. Thriving in Academe, 39 (3) Sept 2021. 

  • Behling, K. (2020). Student Accessibility Services, Tufts University. In Coghill, E., & Coghill, J. Supporting Neurodiverse College Student Success. Rowman & Littlefield.

  • Behling (2020). Finding a silver lining in the rapid movement to online learning: Considerations of access for all learners. Pedagogy and the Human Sciences, 7 (1), 1-11.

  • Tobin, T.J. & Behling, K.T. (2018). Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education. West Virginia Press, Morgantown, VW.

  • Behling, K. & Costa, L. (2017) Produced Day-by-Day: Artists with Disabilities at Tufts University.

  • Behling, K. (2017). Intuitional Support and Resources for Online Accessibility: Key Findings From a National Study. Journal of Postsecondary Education. 

  • Behling, K. (2017). Accessibility Considerations for Hybrid Courses. In Linder, K., Hybrid Teaching and Learning: New Directions for Teaching and Learning, Jossey-Bass.

  • Linder, K., Behling, K. & Fountaine, D. (2016). Whose Job Is It?: Key Challenges and Future Directions for Online Accessibility in U.S. Institutions of Higher Education. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning.

  • Behling, K. (2016). Research and Action podcast, "Research Collaboration". Oregon State University.

  • Behling, K. & Hart, D. (2008). Universal Course Design: A Model of Professional Development: Strategies for bringing UCD to a College Campus and Ensuring its Sustainability. In Burgstahler, S., Universal Design in Post-Secondary Education: From Principles to Practice, Seattle, Washington.

  • Behling, K. (2008). Getting In and Staying In: Postsecondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities. TASH Connections, 34, 3, May/June 2008.

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