All 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.


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..


New England ADA Center

One of ten regional centers across the United States, that comprise the ADA National Network, 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 ADA Centers are the leader in providing information, guidance, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals at local, regional and national levels. The Centers are connected by a nation–wide toll-free number 1-800-949-4232 and ready to answer to your questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Program, Design and Construction Resource Center

The Institute for Human Centered Design, in collaboration with Bearing Point, Inc. (formerly KPMG Consulting) 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, This link will open a new browser window..


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.


Project ACTION National Pedestrian Design

The ultimate objective of the project is to improve the pedestrian right of way in order to make it a successful and facilitating element of public transit for all users.