Universal Design Resources

The resources listed on this page can also be found in the Resources section of this website.

Types of Resources


Universal Design Digital Newsletters

Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA)
The Center for IDeA is located at the School of Architecture, State University of New York at Buffalo. Since 1984, the IDeA Center has been a leading site for research, design, service, education, and dissemination activities related to universal design.
Visit http://udeworld.com/news/subscribe.html to subscribe to the mailing list.

Design for All Foundation Newsletter.
Monthly Newsletter. To subscribe go to

Inclusive Design Research
Inclusive Design Research is an interdisciplinary, international design and research network. Its research groups are currently based in the UK (London) and China (Shanghai). Their aim is to promote inclusive design to the largest audience possible through academic and applied research, education, public engagement, and knowledge transfer to industry. The most recent copies of their newsletter can be found at http://www.inclusivedesignresearch.org/newsletter.html
Contact inclusivedesignresearch@gmail.com to request being added to the mailing list.

Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD)
IHCD is an international nonprofit organization founded in Boston in 1978 that meets its mission through a mix of education, technical assistance, and interdisciplinary design services. A monthly digital newsletter shares information about projects, initiatives, events, competitions, awards programs, and recent publications on universal/inclusive design.
Visit http://www.humancentereddesign.org/news-events/sign-up-for-our-newsletter to sign up for the newsletter, IHCD Updates.

Universal Design Newsletter.
Universal Designers and Consultants. A quarterly newsletter, featuring information on facility and design related to universal design, the ADA, and accessibility.



Universal Design Selected Journals

Applied Ergonomics
An international journal that covers ergonomics applications in the office, industry, consumer products, information technology and military design. Readership includes ergonomists, designers, industrial engineers, health and safety specialists, systems engineers, design engineers, organizational psychologists, occupational health specialists and human-computer interaction specialists.

Design Management Review
Formerly the Design Management Journal, devoted to articles and case studies exploring how design – in products, communication, and environments – is an essential resource, a component of every organization that can be effectively managed to make important contributions to the bottom line and to long-term success.

Behavior and Information Technology
An electronic journal published by Taylor and Francis, Subjects include Computer Science, Information Technology, Health Science, Human Factors and Ergonomics

Design Studies
The only journal to cover all design domains, including design management, design methods, participation in planning and design, design education, Ai and computer aids in design, design in engineering, theoretical aspects of design, design in architecture, design and manufacturing, innovation in industry and design and society.

International journal on technology for the aging society. It reflects the broad categories of interest in the field: health, housing, mobility, communication, leisure, and work.

InformeDesign transforms research into an easy-to-read, easy-to-use format for architects, graphic designers, housing specialists, interior designers, landscape architects, urban designers and planners, and the public.

The International Journal of Art & Design Education
A primary source for articles about art and design education at all levels.

Universal Access in the Information Society
International journal publishes research work on the design, development, evaluation, use, and impact of Information Society Technologies, as well as on standardization, policy, and other non-technological issues that facilitate and promote universal access. Coverage includes theories, methods, tools, empirical results, reviews, case studies, and best practice examples with a focus on universal access.



Universal Design Websites

Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture
The mission of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture is to be the international center for interdisciplinary activities that build intellectual bridges between research on the brain and those who design places for human use.

Action for Community & Environment
Action for Community & Environment is the UK’s largest organization working with and for older people.

AGE - European Older People’s Platform
Aims to voice and promote the interest of older people in the European Union and to raise awareness of the issues that concern them most.

Age Lab
Established in ’99 to develop new technologies promoting healthy, independent living through the human lifespan. Research involved engineering, computer science, human factors, health and medical sciences, management, marketing, and the social and behavioral sciences.

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
Organization for mature adults 50 and above in the United States. Information on health, long-term care, economic security, independent living and residential design for the home.

American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)
Nonprofit professional society representing the interests of interior designers and the interior design community. ASID promotes professionalism in interior design services and products for the workplace and home.

Building and Construction Authority (Sinagpore)
This government entity has established a strong and assertive model of moving from accessiblity to universal design through a multi-pronged effort of education, guidelines and annual competitions.

Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC)

Cambridge University Engineering Design Centre — United Kingdom
A project-based research website for inclusive design. The vision of the Inclusive Design
Group is to embed inclusive design thinking in the UK design and retail community, thus enabling the design of more inclusive products and reduce design exclusion. You can download their Inclusive Design Toolkit: http://www.inclusivedesigntoolkit.com/betterdesign2/

Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE) — United Kingdom
http://cae.org.uk/ (archived)
For more than 40 years, CAE—has been the leading authority and resource in the UK on inclusive design and access to the built environment for older adults and people with disabilities. CAE pioneered the provision of access guidance for building designers based on collaborative research with people with disabilities. CAE is a leader in developing the case for designing for people with disabilities in the context of mainstream inclusive design.

Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST)
CAST is a nonprofit research and development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals through Universal Design for Learning. Founded in 1984, CAST has earned international recognition for its innovative contributions to educational products, classroom practices, and policies.

Centre for Excellence in Universal Design — Ireland
The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD) was established by the National Disability Authority (NDA) in Ireland in January 2007 under the Disability Act 2005. It develops standards, engages in education and professional development, and promotes awareness. Its mission includes public places in the built environment, such as buildings, streets, or spaces that the public has access to; products and services provided in those places; and systems that are available, including information and communications technology (ICT). 

Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA)
The Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access at the State University of New York at Buffalo is dedicated to making environments and products more usable, safe, and healthy in response to the needs of an increasingly diverse population. Founded in 1984, the IDeA Center practices human centered design through research, development, service, dissemination, and educational activities.

Center for Universal Design at the State University of North Carolina at Raleigh
The center, founded by Ron Mace, FAIA, holds copyright for Principles of Universal Design. The center is not currently operational, but many files are available for download or purchase.

Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE)
http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110118095356/http:/www.cabe.org.uk/ (archived)
British government’s advisor on architecture, urban design and public space.
PDFs available on website for download:
-Inclusion by Design: Quality, Diversity and the Built Environment
-Civilised Sreets
-Designed with Care: Design and Neighborhood Healthcare Buildings
-Better Places to Work

Cornell University –College of Human Ecology
Department of Design and Environmental Analysis
Hub of Academic cross-disciplinary inquiry.

Design Center for Global Needs
@ San Francisco State University
Ricardo Gomes, Professor of Industrial Design created the Center for multi-disciplinary exploration of universal design, cultural identity, design for social responsibility and community design.

Design Council — United Kingdom
The Design Council champions great design, meaning design that improves lives and makes things better. It is also the home of the portion of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) that was a primary UK champion for inclusive design and ceased as a free-standing government authority in 2011..

Design for All (DFA) Foundation — Spain
The mission of DFA is to develop, promote, research, and disseminate Design for All concepts among companies and organizations, both public and private; administrations; educational agents; and also designers and professionals who intervene with the environment, products, and services. The DFA Foundation sponsors an influential annual Design-for-All awards program, and has a Museum for All initiative for networking and promotion of universal design.

European Institute for Design and Disability (EIDD) Design for All Europe
EIDD - Design for All Europe is a European network, founded in Dublin, Ireland, in 1993. The original aim of the network was to use design to achieve the inclusion of people with disabilities in society in European countries. It has since been reinforced with the inclusion of a more mainstream approach that seeks to enhance the quality of life through Design for All. The name change in 2006 to Design for All Europe reflects this development. EIDD - Design for All Europe is now a federation of 34 member organizations in 23 European countries. With a strong interdisciplinary approach, the majority of members are professionals in design-related fields.

Helen Hamlyn Centre at the Royal College of Art – United Kingdom
The Helen Hamlyn Centre's Age & Ability Research Lab creates practical design ideas to improve the lives of people of all ages and abilities. It addresses the major challenges of daily living by engaging user/experts to identify problems and educates designers to better understand their needs and aspirations.  The collaboration of the Center faculty and staff with researchers, industry, government, and user/experts is an international model.
First design studio in Europe that specializes in Universal Design. Its mission is to make design accessible for everyone at all areas. Human gathers design that specializes in products design, transport, visual communication, www, architecture etc.

Inclusive Design Toolkit
A UK based organization developed to support designers and those involved in product development, as well as providing a general guide to inclusive design for businesses.

Inclusive Design Institute — Canada
The Inclusive Design Institute (IDI) is a generative hub of applied research that addresses the challenge of designing information and communication systems (ICT) so that they work for all potential users—including users with disabilities, and users with varying language needs and diverse cultural preferences. The IDI is Canada’s first research hub focused on digital inclusion.

Inclusive Design Research®
An interdisciplinary, international design and research network. Its research groups are currently based in the UK (London) and China (Shanghai). Their aim is to promote inclusive design to the largest audience possible through academic and applied research, education, public engagement, and knowledge transfer to industry.

Institute for Human Centered Design
The Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD), founded in Boston in 1978 as Adaptive Environments, is a leading international education and design nonprofit organization committed to advancing the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages and abilities through excellence in design. IHCD offers a mix of education, technical assistance, interdisciplinary design services and research. IHCD does extensive education, consultation, and design in the cultural sector.

See also the NEA-funded global collection of case studies of universal design in the built environment:

International Association for Universal Design (IAUD) — Japan
IAUD’s motto is to open doors to the world through universal design. The organization seeks to further progress, make comfortable living environments, and disseminate information across the world. Through products and services, IAUD promotes the establishment of the foundations of a society in which more people will feel comfortable to live. IAUD hosts international conferences and international award programs.

Lighthouse Guild

National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)
NCAM is a research and development facility dedicated to expanding access to present and future media for people with disabilities. The center explores how existing access technologies may benefit other populations and provides access to educational and media technologies for special needs students.

A consumer-research agency with expertise in product evaluation for older and disabled people. Many reports on product evaluation by specialist user panels and usability experts.

Royal National Institute for the Blind
Important resource for research and product information relative to vision limitations including excellent telecommunications information.

Sensory Trust
Raises awareness of good practice in urban and extra-urban green space design and management.

Trace Research and Development Center
The Trace Research and Development Center is a part of the College of Engineering  University of Wisconsin-Madison. Founded in 1971, Trace has been a pioneer in the field of technology and disability. They work to prevent barriers and capitalize on the opportunities presented by current and emerging information and telecommunication technologies, in order to create a world that is accessible and usable for as many people as possible.



Universal Design Selected Books & Articles

Aragall, Francesc, and Jordi Montaña. Universal Design: The HUMBLES Method for User-Centred Business. Farnham: Gower, 2011.

Assist, Inc., Non-Profit Community Design Center Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Utah. The Assist Guidebook to the Accessible Home.  2002 Edition.

Baker-Laporte, Paula; Elliott, Erica; and John Banta.  Prescriptions for a Healthy House, 3rd Edition: A Practical Guide for Architects, Builders & Homeowners. House & Home - New Society Publishers, May 2008.

Barker, Peter, Jon Barrick, and Rod Wilson.  Building Sight: A Handbook of Building
and Interior Design Solutions to Include the Needs of Visually Impaired
.New York: AFB Press, 1995.

Bonnett, David Associates. Inclusive Urban Design: A Guide to Creating Accessible Public Spaces. London: BSI British Standards Institution, 2013.

Bright, Keith, and Geoffrey Cook. The Colour, Light and Contrast Manual: Designing and Managing Inclusive Built Environments. London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

Carpman, Janet R., and Myron A.Grant. Design that Cares: Planning Health Facilities
for Patients and Visitors
. Third ed. New York: Jossey-Bass, 2016.

Carpman, Janet R., and Myron A. Grant. Directional Sense: How to Find Your Way Around. Boston: Institute for Human Centered Design, 2011.

Cassim, J. Innovate: The journal of the Small Business Programme of the Helen Hamlyn
Research Centre
. The Helen Hamlyn Research Center, Royal College of Art, 2005.

Cassim, Julia, ed. Innovate 1, 2, 3 [etc].The journal of the Small Business Programme of the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre. Royal College of Art, 2005.

Christophersen, Jon, ed. Universal Design: 17 Ways of Thinking and Teaching. Oslo: Husbanken, 2002.

Clarkson, John, Roger Coleman, Simeon Keates, and Cherie Lebbon, eds. Inclusive Design: Design for the Whole Population. London: Springer – Verlag, 2003.

Coleman, Roger. Living Longer: the New Context for Design. London: Design Council, 2001.

Covington, George, and Bruce Hannah. Access by Design. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997.

Danford, Gary S., and Beth Tauke, eds. Universal Design New York. New York: Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, City of New York, and the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access, University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, 2001.

Dion, Betty. International Best Practices in Universal Design: A Comparative Study. Ottowa: Betty Dion Enterprises LTD and Canadian Institute on Barrier-Free Design, 2000.

Eberhard, John P. Architecture and the Brain: A New Knowledge Base from Neuroscience. Atlanta, GA: Greenway Communications: 2007.

Erlandson, Robert F. Universal and Accessible Design for Products, Services, and Processes. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis Group, 2008.

Froyen, Hubert. Universal Design, A Methodological Approach. Boston: Institute for Human Centered Design, 2012.

Gould, Kira; Hosey, Lance. Women in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design. Bainbridge Island: Ecotone Publishing, 2007.

Home Planners. Products and Plans for Universal Homes. Tucson, AZ: Home Planners LLC, January, 2000.

Hull, John M. Touching the Rock: An Experience of Blindness. London: SPCK Publishing, 2016 edition.

Jordan, Wendy A. Universal Design for the Home: Great Looking, Great Living Design for All Ages, Abilities, and Circumstances. Beverly, MA: Quarry Books, 2008.

Kanaani, Mitra and Kopec, Dak. The Routledge Companion for Architecture Design and Practice. New York: Routledge, 2016.

Kawauchi, Yoshihiko. Universal Design: A Reconsideration of Barrier Free. Boston: Institute for Human Centered Design, 2009.

Keates, Simeon L., and John Clarkson. Countering Design Exclusion: An Introduction to Inclusive Design.  London: Springer – Verlag, 2003.

Khare, Rachna. Designing Inclusive Education Spaces for Autism. Boston: Institute for Human Centered Design, 2010.

Kopec, Dak. Health, Sustainability, and the Built Environment. Illustrated Edition. New York: Fairchild Books, 2008.

Leibrock, Cynthia and James Terry. Beautiful Universal Design: A Visual Guide. New York: New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2nd Edition, 1999.

Leibrock, Cynthia. Design Details for Health: Making the Most of Interior Design’s Healing Potential. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1999.

MIG Communications. The Inclusive City: Design Solutions for Buildings, Neighborhoods, and Urban Spaces. Berkeley: MIG Communications, 2007.

Mueller, James L.  Case Studies on Universal Design. Raleigh:North Carolina State University, Center for Universal Design, 1998.

Myerson, Jeremy, Jo-Anne Bichard, and Alma Erlich. New Demographics, New Workspace, Office Design for the Changing Workforce. Surrey: Gower Publishing, 2010.

Nasar, Jack, and J. Evans-Cowley. Universal Design and Visitability. Columbus, OH: The John Glenn School of Public Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts, 2007.

Norman, Donald A. The Design of Everyday Things. New York: Basic Books, 2002.

Ostroff, Elaine, Mark Limont, and Daniel Hunter. Building a World Fit for People: Designers with Disabilities at Work.  Boston: Adaptive Environments, 2002.

Paulsson, Jan. Design for Alla Utbildning [Universal Design Education]. Gothenburg, Sweden: European Institute for Design and Disability, 2006.

Piccolo, Robert, ed. Inclusive Design Guidelines, New York City.  International Code Council, 2010.

Pierce, Deborah D.  The Accessible Home: Designing for All Ages and Abilities. Newtown, CT: Taunton Presss. 2012.

Pirkl, James, Arthur J. Pulos. Transgenerational Design: Products for an Aging
New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997.

Plumbe, Cian, Marianne Stoeren Berg, Merih Kunur,Onny Eikhaug, Rama Gheerawo, and Victoria Hoisaether. Innovating with People: The Business of Inclusive Design.  Oslo: Norwegian Design Council, 2010.

Poulson D., M. Ashby, and S. Richardson. USERfit - A Practical Handbook on User-Centered Design for Assistive Technology. Brussels-Luxemburg: ECSC-EC-EAEC, 1996.

Preiser, Wolfgang, Editor in Chief, Elaine Ostroff, Senior Editor. Universal Design
Columbus, OH: McGraw Hill, 2000.

Preiser, Wolfgang, Editor in Chief, Smith, Korydon, Senior Editor. Universal Design
Handbook, Second Edition.
New York: McGraw Hill, 2010.

Pullin, Graham. Design Meets Disability.  London: MIT Press, 2009.

Robinson, Sarah and Julani Pallasmaa, eds. Mind in Architecture, Neuroscience, Embodiments and the Future of Design. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2015.

Rose, David H., and Anne Meyer. Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2002.

Steinfeld, Edward and White, Jonathan. Inclusive Housing: A Pattern Book. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010.

Sussman, Ann and Justin B. Hollander. Cognitive Architecture. New York: Routledge, 2014.

Tauke, Beth, Smith, Korydon and Davis, Charles. Diversity and Design: Understanding Hidden Consequences. New York: Routledge, 2016.

Tuon, Yi-Fu. Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1977.

Universal Designers and Consultants. Everyone’s Welcome: The Americans with Disabilities Act and Museums. Washingon, DC: American Association of Museums, 1998.

Universal Design New York. Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), City of New York, and the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA), University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, 2003.

Walhimer, Mark. Museums 101. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

Weisman, Leslie Kanes. Discrimination by Design. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Welch, Polly. Strategies for Teaching Universal Design. Boston: Adaptive Environments and MIG Communications, 1995.

Steinfeld, Edward, and Jordana Maisel. Universal Design: Creating Inclusive Environments. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2012.

Zeisel, John. Inquiry by Design: Environments / Behavior / Neuroscience in Architecture, Interiors, Landscape, and Planning. Revised ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2006.