Evolution of RERC on Universal Design

rendering of a community showing peole of different abilities

Over four cycles of NIDILRR funding, the RERC-UD has evolved from focusing on justifying the need for UD, to providing evidence to support UD, to evaluating the implementation of UD.


1999 - 2004

Established the need for UD and created a catalyst for the growth of the UD community. Created a model for using anthropometry in UD, developed strategies for promoting UD adoption in the building and product industries, and encouraged consumers, both with and without disabilities, to value UD in the marketplace.

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2005 - 2010

Produced strategically important deliverables that helped faciliate and advance the field of UD. Generated critical human factors data to resolve design and engineering problems, developed methods to evaluate the usability of designs for people with disabilities, and identified priorities for research and development.

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2010 - 2015

Advanced knowledge translation for universal design using a Knowledge-To-Action Model. Engaged in strategically important projects that integrated UD Goals with the generally accepted models of practice across three domains of the built environment: (1) housing, (2) public buildings, and (3) community infrastructure.

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2015 - 2020

Addresses key needs for knowledge and demonstrates the value of evidence-based practice. Includes evaluations of buildings and facilities using UD features to assess their effectiveness, strengthen the business case for UD, and provide evidence to support increased adoption of UD.