The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) refers to the definition of Universal Design that was used in the Assistive Technology Act of 1998.
"The term 'universal design' means a concept or philosophy for designing and delivering products and services that are usable by people with the widest range of functional capabilities, which include products and services that are directly accessible (without requiring assistive technologies) and products and services that are made usable with assistive technologies." (Section 3 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998)
Within IDEA 2004, the law states that "state educational agencies (or local agencies in the case of district assessments) shall to the extent feasible use universal design principles in developing and administering any statewide assessment." (IDEA, Section 614)
With an increased emphasis on the universal design of products and services, some students with disabilities may be able to access and use educational materials without the addition of special assistive technologies.