Universal Design Resource List

Universal Design Resource List

What is Universal Design?

Universal design is the process of creating products and environments that are accessible to all people.

The Seven Principles of Universal Design include:

  1. Equitable Use
  2. Flexibility in Use
  3. Simple and Intuitive
  4. Perceptible Information
  5. Tolerance for Error
  6. Low Physical Effort
  7. Size and Space for Approach and Use

What are accessible home features?

The Universal Design Project has a list of 134 accessible home features available at universaldesign.org/features. Homes must include most or all of these features to be considered universally accessible. Some features include:

  1. Entrance height between 8-9 feet.
  2. Lighting that clearly illuminates door handle and keyhole.
  3. Color and texture contrast used for transitions between spaces.
  4. Kitchen adjacent to eating area.

Interested in learning more?


  • Good Fit Poor Fit: Part of the Universal Design Project, this is a podcast that explores how people interact with design. Their mission is to make all housing financially accessible.
  • Disability Visibility Project: This episode is on design with Liz Jackson, co-founder of Project Thisten and founder of The Disabled List, a design organization that engages in disability as a creative practice.
  • (In)Accessible: Universal Design: In this episode of the Hear Arizona podcast, the host explores the concept of Universal Design and the idea that buildings should be created with accessibility features up front instead of as an afterthought.

Organizations And Associations

  • Center for Assistive Technology (CATEA): CATEA is a multidisciplinary engineering and design research center dedicated to enhancing the health, activity, and participation of people with functional limitations through the application of assistive and universally designed technologies in real world environments, products, and devices.
  • Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA): School of Architecture and Planning, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. The Center is dedicated to improving the design of environments and products by making them more usable, safe, and appealing to people with a wide range of abilities throughout their life spans.
  • Design for All Foundation: The Design for All Foundation is an international foundation that strives to develop, promote, research, and disseminate Design for All among companies and organizations (both at the public and private level), administrations, educational agents, and designers and professionals who intervene with the environment, products, and services.
  • Institute for Human Centered Design: The Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD), founded in Boston in 1978 as Adaptive Environments, is an international non-governmental educational organization (NGO) 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’s work balances expertise in legally required accessibility with promotion of best practices in human-centered or universal design.

DRC-NH, in collaboration with the UNH Institute on Disability and the New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities, distribute a quarterly RAP sheet to educate community members and policy makers about the latest research, policy, practice, and advocacy issues affecting individuals with disabilities and their families.


Latest RAP Sheet