How it began

"To know the road ahead, ask those coming back" -Chinese Proverb

Access to Design Professions is an National Endowment for the Arts supported project initiated by Adaptive Environments in honor of the late Ron Mace, FAIA. Ron is the architect who first articulated the concept of universal design. He had hoped that more people with disabilities would be encouraged to enter design professions, and that designers with disabilities could establish a network of mutual inspiration and support. Early in the project, 33 designers with disabilities from around the world were questioned about their professional education and development. They spoke about mentors in their lives. The overwhelming majority expressed an interest in mentoring students or new practitioners of design, and in participating in an international network of designers with disabilities. The summary of the interviews and other background on Access to Design Professions can be found on the project website at Access to Design Professions web pageThis link will open a new browser window.

A number of these designers were interviewed again, and are included in a book as part of this project. The book, Building a World Fit for People: Designers with Disabilities at Work, was funded by NEC Foundation of America. It is available in print and also is posted on the project website. If you would like to order a printed copy, please use the Building a World Fit for People order form This link will open a new browser window.