Apr 26, 2017

After the U.S. Senate narrowly voted to begin debate on a health care bill that includes sweeping changes to Medicaid, several dozen protesters with disabilities were arrested.

Read more at disabilityscoop.com

and donate to Access Living to help their advocacy efforts

Jul 24, 2017

Many people on the autism spectrum have a hard time in loud, chaotic places like sports stadiums. But a number of professional sports teams are trying to make it easier and more fun to attend games for those with autism and other special needs. Among them are the Kansas City Royals, who have put some accommodations, such as quiet zones, in place at Kauffman Stadium.

Listen to the story on the Marketplace® Website

ADA Celebrate the 27th year

A red carpet event to celebrate the anniversary of the ADA on July 26th! This event will mark the release of new Public Service Announcements produced in partnership with Digital Eyes Film and role out a larger media campaign. 

Read more at newenglandada.org/ada27boston

Healing Voices Film Cover

Wednesday June 28 th, 12:00PM - 1:30PM
200 Portland Street, Boston, MA 02114


Apr 5, 2017

At its meeting of April 11th, the Board unanimously elected Dr. Brian Mullin. 

Brian Mullen headshotBrian is an entrepreneur, design engineer, and researcher with a passion for designing innovative medical products and assistive technologies to improve quality of life and enhance quality of care for under served populations. 

Over the last 12 years Brian's focus has been on learning how to quickly and efficiently develop commercially viable person-centered evidence based medical technologies from bench to bedside to help meet the unmet medical needs. Brian has participated all phase of going from bench to bedside and back; from conducting pilot clinical studies to explore the safety and effectiveness of treatments for people with mental illness, to the design and development of therapeutic devices, and ultimately founding a medical device company that launched a commercial product based on technology transferred from a university which resulting in equity financing and product sales. 

Brian has a B.S.M.E, M.S.M.E, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research lead to presentations at the American Occupational Therapy Associations (AOTA), The International Society for Autism Research (ISAR), the Nation Collegiate Innovator and Inventor's Association (NCIIA), and the BioMedical Engineering Society (BEMS), as well as peer reviewed publications and patent applications. The diverse work of his research has resulted in the ability to seamlessly translate and move between many different fields and domains.

Currently, Brian is a Manager at the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He is an innovation strategy manager and leads the Open Innovation Studio where he helps innovators at the hospital advance their early stage ideas. Before his current position Brian was the founder and CEO of Therapeutic Systems, a startup with the goal of improvement mental healthcare through innovative sensory based medical technologies. 

Apr 5, 2017

Design industry leader Jason Schupbach to head ASU's Design School

Jason Schupbach, one of the founding leaders of the national creative placemaking movement and the person charged with representing all of the design disciplines at the federal level, will join Arizona State University's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts as the new director of the Design School.

Creative placemaking is “a relatively new name for a very long practice of supporting the role of design and the arts in making great communities,” Schupbach said. It's what happens when designers and artists work with community-development groups to make arts and culture a player in community revitalization — making design and the arts as much a part of the conversation as transportation, housing, land use and public-safety strategies.

Schupbach, who will start at ASU on July 3, currently serves as the director of design and creative placemaking programs for the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversees grantmaking and partnerships, including Our Town and Art Works grants, the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design and the NEA’s federal agency collaborations related to community development.

“We’re eager to have a leader like Jason, who can really drive design and design thinking across the university and in our communities and cities,” said Mark Searle, executive vice president and university provost at ASU.

“His creative insights, combined with his commitment to collaboration with tech and creative businesses, government and education, will advance the university’s connections with national and international partners in interdisciplinary research, community development and new models for teaching.”

Schupbach said he’s looking forward to getting to know the community, culture and environment of Arizona.

“I am enormously honored to be joining the Design School at the Herberger Institute,” Schupbach said. “ASU's reputation as a place that is on the cutting edge of experimentation with higher education makes it an amazing platform for growing the next generation of designers. I'm very excited to work with the students, faculty and the local design community to grow design's innovative ability to address issues pertinent to ASU, Arizona and the world. Together, we will build the next great American design school at the 'New American University,' a school that at its core is equitable, relevant and collaborative." 

Schupbach has spent much of his life working to improve the infrastructure and support that creative people need in order to help them succeed. Of his position at the NEA, he said that “every day I got to ask myself: How I can make life better for designers, and how can I make American design better?”

Before taking the position at the NEA, Schupbach was the creative economy director under the governor of Massachusetts, tasked with growing creative and tech businesses in the state and coordinating efforts that leverage the power of design for the good of economic development. He also served as the director of ArtistLink, a Ford Foundation-funded initiative to stabilize and revitalize communities through the creation of affordable space and innovative environments for creatives. In addition, he has worked for the mayor of Chicago and New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

Schupbach holds a BS in public health from the University of North Carolina and a master's degree in city planning with an urban design certificate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he has written extensively on the role of design and the arts in making better communities.

“Jason has a broad interdisciplinary approach to design, as well as a long history of thinking about design and cities,” said Herberger Institute Dean Steven J. Tepper. “Last May, President Crow tasked me with recruiting a big-time design leader, someone who could take our talented faculty and students to new heights of impact and visibility. Jason is that person, and we are thrilled that he will bring his talents and connections to ASU. Moreover, as we build our national work in creative placemaking across the university, Jason’s experience as one of the founding leaders of the movement will solidify ASU’s growing reputation in design and arts-led community development.”                                     


Mar 7, 2016







Institute for Human Centered Design Logo
Institute for Human Centered Design Updates
March, 2017

IHCD Welcome's New Board Members

John Czajkowski

John Czajkowski

A native of the Washington, D.C. area, John Czajkowski came to Boston in 2013 to become the Executive Dean for Administration at Harvard Medical School (HMS).  As Executive Dean, he managed the day-to-day operations of the medical school, and was responsible for finance, human resources, information technology, buildings and facilities, and other central support functions.  Year after year, HMS is rated the top medical school in the world, and its 110-year-old campus is the hub of the Boston's Longwood Medical Area.  Mr. Czajkowski brings considerable operational expertise, and years of practical experience that will be valuable to the Board and the Institute as a whole.

Prior to that, he had a 27-year career in the Federal government.  Most recently, he was the Deputy Director for Management of the National Cancer Institute, the largest of NIH's institutes and centers.  He also held executive positions in the Treasury Department and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  He is an active musician and an ordained minister, and he and his wife Jenny have four adult children

Jennifer Otitigbe

Jennifer Otitigbe

Jennifer Otitigbe is an expert in product development practices having worked in all aspects of new product development from concept development to product launch. She currently practices User Experience Design at the MathWorks, where she specializes in human-centered design of software for complex systems. Prior to this role, Jennifer was a staff member at the Institute for Human Centered Design where she worked initially as a Project Manager and then progressed to serve as the Director of User Experience and Research.

Throughout her career, she has worked at the intersections of disciplines because of her belief that it's at the intersections of thought that innovation is found.  Jennifer is a graduate of Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute and earned a master in science at Stanford University.  She lives in Boston.

Fourth Annual MEDED Facilities

Boston, World Trade Center - April 4 & 5

Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) to Sponsor Educational Sessions


ADA Standards for Accessible Design:

What Medical Centers Need to Know

Presenters: Kathy Gips, Director of Training

                     Stacy Hart, Technical Assistance Specialist,

                     IHCD's New England ADA Center

Drawing from our work with Boston-based medical centers, we will discuss key aspects of the ADA Standards that are confusing or often overlooked. Do you know which of the following needs to be wheelchair accessible: sinks in exam rooms,  sinks in cafeteria kitchens, sinks in laboratories and/or sinks in employee break areas? Do all single-user toilet rooms need to be accessible or just a percentage? We will review the U.S. Access Board's accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment and the Department of Justice's guidance for design of medical facilities.

Human-Centric Lighting: What does it mean and how do we provide it in practice?

Presenter: Patricia Rizzo, MSc, IES, LEED AP

                     Senior Lighting Applications Developer

                     Lighting Solutions and Services (LSS)

                     Philips Lighting Research North America

Human-centric lighting is lighting devoted to enhancing vision, wellbeing and performance individually or in some combination. As such, human-centric lighting must consider the effects of light exposure on both visual and non-visual aspects of human physiology in a lighting design - and lighting design is increasingly called upon to support circadian, or non-visual, needs for users across societal segments. Home or hospital, office or classroom, recognition that disruption of 24hr rhythms can impact mood, alertness and performance presents new challenges to development and deployment of lighting systems. The awareness and scientific evidence that people need the right light at the right time for their health and wellbeing has grown considerably in recent years. As such human-centric lighting starts to play an essential role in creating environments that look beyond illumination. This presentation will look at the broad umbrella of human-centric lighting, explain circadian light, show examples of application techniques, and look at the tools and technologies available to support both.

Welcoming campuses: Wayfinding that Works for Everyone

Moderator: Valerie Fletcher, Executive Director, IHCD

Presenter: Ruth Super, Associate AIA, LEED AP

                   IHCD's Universal Design Wayfinding Specialist

During a time when attracting students and cultural, gender and social divisions are pressing issues in higher education, wayfinding often takes a back seat  or is an afterthought in the design of a campus or facility. Super, IHCD's Universal Design Wayfinding Specialist, will present on how a multi-sensory approach to the design of a comprehensive wayfinding system can go a long way in setting a welcoming, inviting and user-friendly tone.  By balancing extensive research with a focus on design decision-making she shows how to achieve design that not only facilitates learning, but design that also communicates that all students, staff and visitors are welcomed and supported. Super's session begins with a look at the wayfinding needs that are innate in all of us. It focuses on the different audiences and their journeys through facilities, laying out the design and behavior issues that need to be considered, including planning for arrival, orientation on site, exterior wayfinding, interior wayfinding, and user participation in facility design, and more.

Comprehensive Analysis of Accessibility Compliance as a Tool for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education: Two Case Studies

Presenters: Valerie Fletcher, IHCD Executive Director

                     Neda Norouzi, B.Env.D, M.Arch, MURP, PhD

                     Campus Design and Planning, Virginia Tech

The 'new normal' includes a higher proportion of atypical students who may be older, international students or immigrants, veterans, have families, and are more likely to pursue an education that is a hybrid of traditional live classes and distance learning. At the same time, the prevalence and profile of disability in college and university communities is changing. Staff and faculty have a higher proportion of people over 55 and students with disabilities are predominantly presenting - whether disclosing a disability or not - with brain-based conditions or chronic health conditions. "Just tell me what I have to do" isn't enough.

Fletcher will use a case study of a comprehensive consultation in Atlanta to illustrate how to:  

  • Understand current expectations for public and private entities under ADA, Fair Housing, and state accessibility codes.
  • Understand the value of considering compliance as a floor and committing to  enhanced usability and inclusive design to improve performance and well-being for everyone.
  • Learn to unravel the distinct challenges of evaluating "program accessibility" as the means to prioritizing facility renovations.
  • Appreciate the multiple strategies that make sense for evaluating accessibility for the out of doors.
  • Learn to assess how to plan for building organizational capacity that will support reliable performance after the consultation is completed.
Jan 1, 2017

Revolution Logo

Nearly 20 years ago two architects, one in the US and one in the UK, who’d both acquired functional limitations due to polio, developed an idea about people at the center of the design process. Ron Mace and Selwyn Goldsmith were clear. Universal/inclusive design was not baseline accessibility about people with disabilities but rather a transformational and dynamic design strategy for our time that built on a floor of access. They saw human diversity of ability, age, and culture as definitive of life today and called for concerted leadership to invest in design that makes this new reality work. The demographic facts have only gotten starker. The concepts are more familiar but sustainable visionary practice is, at best, scattered. Fletcher will offer a strategy to spur holistic action for inclusive design that’s practical but energizing, that demands engagement by clients, designers, and users. And she’ll illustrate success with global examples of methods and results.