Universal design is design excellence that makes the environment usable by everyone throughout the lifespan. It goes beyond minimum access codes and standards to address the right of people – from childhood into their oldest years - to comfortably use spaces, products and information in an independent, inclusive and equal manner. The Arts Endowment works to educate designers, city planners, developers, educators and consumers on this important design process -- that contributes to livability, individual worth, to a sense of community and to the quality of life.
Community Development Block Grants 2004 Update
Profiles and pictures from four sites throughout the country that recently used CDBG funds to make access improvments in their facilities and outdoor space. Available in PDF only (3.5 MB).
Arts in Universal Environments
A summary and a complete report on a one-day workshop that focused on the advantages of universally designed settings for the arts held on June 14, 2000 in Providence, RI.
Universal Design Meeting
On October 2-3, 2003, the Arts Endowment convened a meeting of experts from the design profession, academia, consumer groups, and government to develop recommendations for broadening the practice of universal design and shaping future funding priorities. The focus of this effort and this movement is to create more inclusive communities.
Images of Universal Design Project
Imagines of Universal Design was created from a jointly sponsored competition by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Building Museum, and Universal Designers & Consultants that recognize the work of designers who have successfully created facilities and products with characteristics that may be used by everyone.
Universal Design Exemplars
Through a competitive process, jurors selected 32 exemplary design projects from more than 90 entries submitted from around the world. The winning projects are featured on the Center for Universal Design’s website, which describe and visually documents examples of universal design from the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, interior design and exhibit design.
Seven Principles of Universal Design
These seven principles of universal design may be applied to evaluate existing designs, guide the design process and educate both designers and consumers about the characteristics of more usable products and environments.
Universal Design Resource List
Listing of resources compiled by the Office for AccessAbility at the National Endowment for the Arts.
Social Justice in Architecture: Promoting Universal Design and Human Diversity in Architecture Education and Practice Through the Accreditation Process
This paper highlights the issues facing architecture students with disabilities as well as the lack of attention to human diversity in architectural education. It emphasizes the extraordinary demographic and societal changes that demand more enlightened designers and design. The paper identifies the existing NAAB Conditions and Procedures that can begin to address these issues and suggests slight modifications in language that can further respond to these needs. It offers some suggestions for the site visit and preparation of members of accreditation visiting teams.
Universal Design at Work: The Millay Colony
A universally designed building opens at the Millay Colony for the Arts. The new 3,200 square foot universally designed main building includes artists’ studios, dormitories, kitchens, dinning room, living room, laundry room, music/library room as well as accessible pathways around the facility.
Adaptive Environments Center
Adaptive Environments is a 27-year-old educational non-profit organization committed to advancing the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages and abilities. Adaptive Environments' work balances expertise in legally required accessibility with promotion of best practices in human centered or universal design. Projects vary from local to international. All are characterized by collaboration and user participation.
Access to Design Professions
This is a leadership initiative with Adaptive Environments in Boston, MA that works to increase the number of and support for people with disabilities in design professions -- in the belief that their involvement in design will expand the practice of universal design to the benefit of everyone.
Easy Living Home Program
The Easy Living Home program, that includes the Home Builders Association of Georgia, AARP Georgia, and Concrete Change, is a certification program designed to encourage builders of single-family homes and townhomes to incorporate features that increase the sellers' market, and offer buyers a home that includes basic accessibility standards, allowing people to remain in their homes throughout their lifespan. With Endowment support, the Georgia coalition has pioneered a voluntary program to certify open-market homes that meet a specified, basic standard, which incorporates universal design features.
Independent Living Centers
Independent Living Centers are typically non-residential, private, non-profit,
consumer-controlled, community-based organizations providing services and advocacy by and
for persons with all types of disabilities. **A good place to make sure your doing your
building designs and renovations right the first time.
Universal Design Alliance
The Universal Design Alliance, Inc., is a non-profit corporation founded in 2003 to create awareness and expand the public’s knowledge of universal design, which is design for all ages, sizes, and abilities. Their website includes Universal Design resources, events, educational opportunities, and information about consultations.
Universal Design Identity Project
The Universal Design Identity Project, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, investigates public perceptions and attitudes toward universal design in an attempt to establish an identity for universal design.
WebABLE! Solutions Seminars and
WebABLE! Solutions conducts on site training, seminars and accessibility workshops for the World
Wide Web, emerging technology and usability/accessibility design.
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