Long, long ago, in a distant galaxy, around 2006, a Google search for universal design would give you under three million results. Today, it’s 41,200,000! This is a fast growing field as we prepare for a planet with an older population. Students considering career choices: look into universal design! This is for those of you who wish to be an early adopter and position yourself at the front of the curve – a simple advantage that only requires you to start soon. Great opportunity to innovate and make a difference for a huge number of people. Below are your first stop educational resources:
The MIT Age Lab
Inventing new ideas to improve the quality of life for older adults and those who care for them by translating technology into practical solutions. Satisfy your curiosity about unusual ways they are applying technology to aging and independent living. See their overview on YouTube.
IDeA, The Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access
“IDeA is dedicated to making environments and products more usable, safer and healthier in response to the needs of an increasingly diverse population.” The primary goal is to produce knowledge and tools that will increase social participation of groups who have been marginalized by traditional design practices. Universal Design E-World is their new web focused endeavor.
Universal Design Education Online
“This web site supports the teaching and study of universal design. It also provides a place where educators can interact with each other. The site features a variety of materials for a range of disciplines, levels, and interests including: Instructional, content resources, writings, bibliography and external links.”
The Universal Design Alliance
A non-profit corporation founded in March of 2003 … to create awareness and expand the public’s knowledge of universal design. Ud to date news, training opportunities and publications.
Part of the Research & Development Center at the College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Trace develops and adapts “emerging information and telecommunication technologies, in order to create a world that is as accessible and usable as possible for as many people as possible.”
The Center for Assistive Technology & Environmental Access (CATEA)
Development, evaluation, and utilization of assistive technology; and, design and development of accessible environments. CATEA is a unit of the College of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.
A nonprofit research and development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals, especially those with disabilities, through Universal Design for Learning.
The Center for Universal Design in Education at the University of Washington
CUDE develops and collects Web-based resources to help educators apply universal design to all aspects of the educational experience: instruction, student services, information technology, and physical spaces. Try the Online Tutorial to learn more about the history, definition, applications and principles of universal design. Great knowledge base.
Universal Design Education Project at the University of Oregon
Working with the Center for Human Centered Design (Adaptive Environments), UDEP works toward merging universal design values into traditional classrooms.
The Center for Universal Design (CUD) at North Carolina State University
A national information, technical assistance, and research center that evaluates, develops, and promotes accessible and universal design in housing, commercial and public facilities, outdoor environments, and products. Our mission is to improve environments and products through design innovation, research, education and design assistance. This is where Ron Mace and universal design began; today, they are still one the best enterprises.