Our Current Projects


Access to Design Professions

With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the NEC Foundation and the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Education, this international project is working to increase the number of people with disabilities in the design professions through a multi-faceted outreach, support, internship and mentoring program. A book of profiles of 21 designers with disabilities from around the world was published in 2002. Building a World Fit for People: Designers with Disabilities at Work This link will open a new browser window. is available for downloading. Print copes are available for sale.

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Building Careers in Design

Building Careers in Design is an online technical assistance project for vocational rehabilitation counselors funded by a contract with the RSA National Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center. The project provides distance learning and web resources about career development in the design professions for people with disabilities. Building Careers In Design encourages the participation of people with disabilities in the design professions in order to strengthen the practice of universal design and to create more inclusive communities.

The project is a component of Access to Design Professions of the Institute for Human Centered Design in collaboration with San Diego State University's Interwork Institute This link will open a new browser window..

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Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Program, Design and Construction Resource Center

The Institute for Human Centered Design, in collaboration with Deloitte Touche and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is providing design and construction technical assistance on the Fair Housing Act of 1988 to builders, design professionals, housing authorities, fair housing organizations, advocates, service providers and consumers. The goal is to increase compliance with the Act through technical assistance, training and web based resources. The Institute for Human Centered Design as the Design and Construction Resource Center will respond to questions regarding fair housing compliance through a national toll-free number 1-888-FH1RST1 (1-888-341-7781). The Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Program will be offering information on training events, resources and additional assistance through its web site, www.FairHousingFirst.org This link will open a new browser window..

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Inclusive Sports Initiative

The Inclusive Sports Initiative is a project of the Institute for Human Centered Design and focuses on Disability in Sport, bringing people with disabilities from the margins to become integral members of the sporting community. Ongoing research, education and advocacy addresses the inclusion of people with disabilities in sport.

The Inclusive Sports Initiative provides educational awareness training on inclusion in sport, and serves as a resource to support sport organizations regarding the inclusion process. The Inclusive Sports Initiative serves as a facilitator to organize individuals and groups to work together to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities.

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Neighborhoods Fit for People

Begun on December 1, 1998, the project's goal has been to make the South Boston Waterfront the first new US development of this size and scope to integrate universal design as a principle of development. Although the development itself has had many starts and stops, the project has moved forward consistently: raising awareness; educating public and private parties involved in the design; building diverse collaborative partners; generating media both local, national and international; engaging citizen participation, and securing commitments to universal design into the design guidelines.

In 2003, the project expanded in a variety of ways, building on existing work and relationships. The project shifted into the plural: Neighborhoods Fit for People: Universal Design at the Urban Scale in Boston. The commitment to the South Boston Waterfront development continues but expands to include two other areas: an old neighborhood poised for change and growth, the Fenway, and the contiguous Longwood Medical Area, one of the nation's largest and most prestigious medical hubs. The project established a new relationship with the City of Boston, especially the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) with expanded collaboration on design review of individual projects and planning. An ongoing partnership with the Boston Society of Architects' Learning By Design in Massachusetts continues with a three-year project to create an after-school curriculum for middle school students on urban design that integrates universal or human-centered design.

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New England ADA Center

One of ten regional Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers across the United States, funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the U.S. Department of Education, the Centers are the community-based centerpiece of the federal government's infrastructure to support voluntary compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Institute for Human Centered Design serves the six New England states. In 2006, our responsibilities expanded to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities. To that end, we have built a new set of partnerships and collaborations with the: Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, New England Board of Higher Education, Eastern Alliance in Science, Engineering, Technology and Math at the University of Southern Maine, Association of Higher Education and Disability, and Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities.

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