Universal Design Resource List
This is a partial listing of resources compiled by the Office for AccessAbility
at the National Endowment for the Arts (Voice: 202.682.5532; Fax: 202.682.5715;
TTY: 202.682-5496; Website: www.arts.gov). Updated September 2009.
United States Architectural and Transportation Barrier Compliance Board
1331 F Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20004-1111
Voice: 202.272.0080 or
TTY: 202.272.0082 or
The United States Architectural and Transportation Barrier Compliance Board is an independent federal agency that developed the ADA Accessibility Guidelines and established the minimum requirements on which the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards are based. Free publications on these requirements for making accessible design, construction, and alterations to buildings and vehicles can be downloaded from the Access Board Web site. The Access Board also provides technical assistance and information on the architectural requirements of the ADA and other access-related legislation, as well as on communication, and transportation accessibility. View the "Publications" page of the Board’s Web site for a list of these free publications.
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Resource Service Group
601 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20049
AARP sponsors many free publications to provide older individuals with information on housing from a consumer perspective.
Home Modifications Scrapbook is an idea-filled scrapbook of pictures that feature older people making their homes more comfortable, safe, and supportive.
Doable Renewable Home identifies and explains ways to make a home more suitable for a person with physical limitations.
AARP’s Universal Design Information Packet highlights key features that allow persons to remain in their homes for as long as they wish by applying the concept known as "universal design.”
Staying At Home: A Guide To Long-Term Care And Housing describes the wide range of local support services and housing options, as well as resources for finding these services, and comments on payment and quality issues.
American Institute of Architects
1735 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006-5292
Based in Washington, D.C., the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is a national membership organization for architectural professionals. AIA is dedicated to the implementation and advancement of universal design practices, and promotes universal design in the education of architects, interior designers, engineers, and others. Through its Web site, AIA provides an online resource for general information regarding universal design principles and approaches, as well as related downloadable newsletters, articles, publications, and other multimedia resources.
American Institute of Graphic Arts
164 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Founded in 1914, the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) represents more than 22,000 design professionals, educators, and students through national activities and local programs developed by 63 chapters and 240 student groups. AIGA’s mission is to advance design as a professional craft, strategic tool, and vital cultural force. AIGA provides an outlet for designers to exchange ideas and information, participate in critical analysis, and research and advance education and ethical practices.
Center for Inclusive Design & Environmental Access (IDEA)
School of Architecture and Planning
State University of New York
Buffalo, NY 14214-3087
Voice: 716.829.3485 x329
The Center for Inclusive Design & Environmental Access (IDEA) is dedicated to improving the design of environments, products, and communication systems by making them more usable, safe, and appealing to people of all abilities throughout their life span. IDEA uses research, product development, and information dissemination to create new resources for universal design practices. The Center provides resources and technical expertise in architecture, product design, facilities management, and the social and behavioral sciences.
The Center for Universal Design
NC State University, College of Design
Campus Box 7701
Leazar Hall 101
Raleigh, NC 27695-7701
Voice: 919.515.3082 or
The Center for Universal Design is a national research, information, and technical assistance center that evaluates, develops, and promotes universal design in housing, public and commercial facilities, and related fields.
Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA)
200 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) is a national, industry-based, nonprofit organization, founded in 1984 by professionals in the interior design, furnishings, fashion, and architectural fields, to fund a wide range of responses to the AIDS crisis. DIFFA's mission is to raise and distribute funds to AIDS organizations and projects throughout the United States, while fostering volunteer, donor, and corporate responses to AIDS among design professionals. Funds are used for providing AIDS education and services to persons with AIDS. Grants support life-sustaining services, agency services, AIDS education and prevention, housing and home care, volunteer development, and legal advocacy.
Institute for Human Centered Design
(Formerly Adaptive Environments)
Contact: Valerie Fletcher,
200 Portland Street
Boston, MA 02114
Voice/TTY: 617.695.1225 x229
The Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) is a Boston-based, international, nonprofit organization, committed to “advancing the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages and abilities.” IHCD strives to educate both the design community and general public on universal design principles, while encouraging all to exceed minimum access codes and standards. IHCD meets this mission through innovative educational programs, technical assistance, training, consultation, publications, and design advocacy. IHCD’s work is project-based and varies in scope, ranging from urban planning, culture, and housing, to the “Access to the Design Professions” (ADP) initiative. ADP, inspired by and dedicated to the late Ron Mace, strives to find ways for people with disabilities to enter and sustain themselves in the professions of architecture, industrial design, interior design, and landscape architecture. IHCD also develops publications to educate the public on access and universal design, including: Readily Available Checklist: A Survey for Accessibility, Achieving Physical and Communication Accessibility, Consumer's Guide to Home Adaptation, ADA Fact Sheets, ADA Cost Catalog for Home Modifications, ADA Core Curriculum, and Strategies for Teaching Universal Design.
Contact: Susan Goltsman
800 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94710
Voice: 510.845.0953 x7549
MIG, Inc., is a multidisciplinary, design, and technical leadership consultancy firm dedicated to implementing, adopting, and creating environments and organizations in support of human development. MIG offers specialized, up-to-date, and easy-to-use reference and curricular materials. MIG publications include: The Accessibility Checklist: An Evaluation System for Buildings and Outdoors Settings; Safety First Checklist; Natural Learning; The Accessible School; Play for All Guidelines: Planning, Design and Management of Outdoor Play Settings for All Children; Universal Access to Outdoor Recreation: A Design Guide; and Strategies for Teaching Universal Design. An order form is available the MIG Web site.
National Trust for Historic Preservation
1785 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036-2117
The National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy, and resources to save America's diverse historic places and revitalize its communities. It offers small grants through:
The National Trust Preservation Fund
(www.preservationnation.org/resources/find-funding/grants/), which provides matching funds, ranging from $500 to $5,000, to nonprofit organizations and public agencies to initiate preservation projects;
The Johanna Favrot Fund
(www.preservationnation.org/resources/find-funding/grants/) offers grants, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, to nonprofit organizations and public agencies; and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors (www.preservationnation.org/resources/find-funding/grants/) provides matching grants, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, to nonprofit organizations and public agencies.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation also provides funding for property development projects, through the National Trust Community Investment Corporation (NTCIC) (www.ntcicfunds.com) and the National Trust Loan Fund (www.preservationnation.org/resources/find-funding/loans/national-trust-loan-fund/).
Trace Research & Development Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1550 Engineering Drive, 2107 ECB
Madison, WI 53706-1609
The Trace Research and Development Center is part of the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Trace is at the forefront in the field of technology and disability. Recent work focused on the design of mainstream information and communication technologies that are accessible to people with disabilities and older adults. Accomplishments include the development of accessible computer operating systems, accessible voting systems, guidelines for Web content accessibility (working with W3C), and universal remote console industry standards.
Universal Designers & Consultants
6 Grant Avenue
Takoma Park, MD 20912
Universal Designers & Consultants offers online information, accessibility consultancy services, and publications, including Universal Design Newsletter, a 12-page quarterly publication that provides up-to-date information about accessible design, compliance with the ADA, and the emerging field of universal design. Each issue contains the latest technical information from the nation's most knowledgeable experts in the field of accessible facility and product design. Articles highlight outstanding examples of universal design, practical accessibility solutions for theaters, schools, retail establishments, restaurants, office buildings, parks and recreation facilities, hotels, and hospitals. Regular columns include “Reg/Leg Watch,” “Design Tips,” “New Products,” “New Media,” and “Calendar of Events.” An electronic subscription to the newsletter is free; a hardcopy subscription is $25.00 per year.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20506