Aleya Banwari, Philip Dambisya, Benedict Khumalo, Kristin van Tonder

Published On


Page Range

pp. 371–396


  • English

Print Length

26 pages

16. A design justice approach to Universal Design for Learning: Perspectives from the Global South

This chapter focuses on the issue of exclusion in higher education and how to promote inclusivity by implementing UDL principles within a larger social and design justice context. The chapter critically analyses the strengths and challenges of a UDL approach within a Global South context, highlighting how social and design justice can be attained by focusing on broad conceptions of access and equity. The chapter documents the experiences of four postgraduate students in their roles as Educational Technology Advisors (ETAs) at the University of Cape Town, outlining collaborative insights arising from the authors’ varied positionalities and disciplinary backgrounds. The chapter seeks to offer a challenge to established epistemological paradigms that regard the very nature of knowledge as impartial and absolute, as well as to catalyse more significant insights into inclusive, accessible, and socio-culturally responsive education practices in higher education.


Aleya Ramparsad Banwari

Masters in Public Health at University of Cape Town

Aleya Ramparsad Banwari is an entrepreneur, activist, and social innovator who is passionate about social justice, community-based activism, and creating a better African future for tomorrow through driving digital transformation. Aleya is a co-director and co-founder of GrabAGrad, a graduate-led innovation and consulting firm specialising in disruptive solutions, staffed entirely by previously unemployed graduates. Aleya is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Health at the University of Cape Town. Aleya’s academic credentials also encompass a Bachelor of Social Science in Political Science, Industrial Sociology, and Social Anthropology in 2018, followed by their Honours in Social Anthropology in 2019 (University of Cape Town), and certifications in Design Thinking and Change Management.

Philip Mbulalina Dambisya

Trainee Learning Designer, Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching at University of Cape Town

Philip Mbulalina Dambisya is a trainee learning designer at the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) (South Africa). With qualifications in Audiology, Health Professions Education, and Public Health, he is passionate about exploring the nexus of health, social justice, and education. Viewing education as one of many vehicles towards the uplifting of others, Philip is a believer in and proponent of quality open education.

Benedict Khumalo

MPhil student in Disabilities Studies at University of Cape Town

Benedict Khumalo is a trainee learning designer and disability researcher, currently enrolled for an MPhil Disabilities Studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT) (South Africa). His research focuses on special schools’ educators’ perceptions of inclusive education in South Africa. He has three postgraduate qualifications: Social Development and Social Anthropology from the University of the Western Cape and a postgraduate diploma in Disability Studies from UCT. He is interested in discourses of inclusive education, including online learning and curriculum design.

Kristin van Tonder

Master’s candidate in Education at University of Cape Town

Kristin van Tonder is an educator, curriculum developer, and policy advocate with a passion for accessible and equal education. She is currently a Master’s candidate in Education at the University of Cape Town (South Africa), where her research interests include instructional and curriculum design, cognitive development and inclusive education in K-12 and higher education contexts.