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Abstract

The primary purpose of this essay is to suggest ways to create a universally inclusive curriculum, which, by definition, addresses the learning needs of all students, including students with disabilities or, in this case, students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Presented with the opportunity of having a d/Deaf students in a public speaking class, we reflect on the accommodations made, the assumptions inherent in an inclusive classroom, and the ideology of ableism. Because d/Deafness is as much a cultural identity as an auditory condition, we also address how to create safe learning environments for diverse student populations through the use of Universal Instructional Design.