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Executive Director

Richard Duncan is the Executive Director of the RL Mace Universal Design Institute. Mr. Duncan has spent over 35 years in the field of architectural and product accessibility and universal design in residential, public, and transportation environments. He has extensive experience in the design, costs, materials, and products in residential and non-residential settings. His work includes the issuesof affordable housing and home and repair financing and transportation accessibility as well as community design for constituencies that include people with disabilities and older households. He has conducted and managed numerous accessibility assessment and compliance projects over four decades in public, commercial, and outdoor environments. Richard’s work on Fair Housing and theADA extend back to the early 1990’s. Accessibility and Universal design work has taken him around the country and worldwide. He created the nation’s only conferences that address universal homes and communities, Universal Design Summit and Universal Design Today.

He is editor of A Blueprint for Action, and was project director of Access Boston: Design Guidebook for Barrier Free Access, the nation’s first urban design guideline for accessibility. Mr. Duncan contributed to NAHB’s Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) course and helped conduct the very first CAPS training. Richard is one of two primary authors of NAHB’s Universal Design Build (UDB) course. He was the first approved UDB instructor in the country. He is the 2003 recipient of the Icons of the Industry Award from the Senior Housing Council (now, 50+ Housing Council) of the National Association of Home Builders. Richard heads the RL Mace Universal Design Institute and is Executive Director of the Better Living Design Institute. Before that he spent 24 years working in two of the nation’s preeminent organizations in the field, the Adaptive Environments Center (now, the Institute for Human Centered Design) in Boston and The Center for Universal Design in North Carolina.

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