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design for
human diversity.

diverse partners. shared mission.


Meet our incredible network of non-profits and for-profits, all working to create empowering environments.

Thank you for all you did to schedule and present the universal design orientations for the first year Design students. As you have done consistently, the presentations were excellent. Each studio responded to the breadth, clarity, and comfort and ease of the sessions. Your initiative to start and sustain these orientations has been a deeply meaningful addition to the first year curriculum for our Design students. The Design Fundamentals faculty are very appreciative of your efforts.



UDI solutions.


The RL Mace Universal Design Institute's work manifests the belief that all environments and products, to the greatest extent possible, should and can be usable by everyone regardless of age, ability, or circumstance.

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what is UD?


Universal design is the process of creating products that are accessible to people with a wide range of abilities, disabilities, and other characteristics. Universally designed products accommodate individual preferences and abilities; communicate necessary information effectively (regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities); and can be approached, reached, manipulated, and used regardless of the individual's body size, posture, or mobility.


Application of universal design principles minimizes the need for assistive technology, results in products compatible with assistive technology, and makes products more usable by everyone, not just people with disabilities.


why UDI?


The Ronald L. Mace Universal Design Institute (The Institute) is a non-profit organization based in North Carolina dedicated to promoting the concept and practice of accessible and universal design. The Institute's work manifests the belief that all new environments and products, to the greatest extent possible, should and can be usable by everyone regardless of age, ability, or circumstance. The Institute advances the concept of universal design in all design disciplines, including housing, public-use buildings, outdoor and urban environments and related products.

  • Privacy and caregiving
    An ADU can enable family members to live on the same property while having their own living spaces — or provide housing for a hired caregiver. In this way, ADUs can be an affordable and more comforting alternative to an assisted-living facility or nursing home.
  • Downsizing
    For older adult homeowners looking to downsize, an ADU can be a more appealing option than moving into an apartment or an age-restricted community.
  • Safety and independence
    A new or renovated dwelling can be designed in a way that allows comfortable and safe living for many years, with universal or accessible design. Find out more here: senior design list link
  • Saving money
    Moving to a long-term care facility such as assisted living or nursing care can cost $50,000 - $100,000 each year. Delaying that move, even for two to three years, can save a lot of money. Plus, while delaying a move to an institutional care setting, older adults are able to remain in an actual home!
  • Rental income
    Where allowed, an ADU can provide rental income to homeowners who rent out their ADU or move into their ADU and rent out their primary dwelling. This rental income can help homeowners cover mortgage payments, increased property taxes, or simply make ends meet. This can be especially useful for older people on fixed incomes.

what's new.

contact us.


Whether you have questions or need assistance, our team is here to help. Get in touch through any of the channels below. We’re eager to hear from you!

Got questions? Find the answers here.

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