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We appreciate your interests in Universal Design, a global movement of inclusive design practice initiated at NC State University College of Design. The Center for Universal Design is currently not active due to funding challenges. We are working to revive the Center, hopefully in the near future. We are unable at this time to provide assistance to your design inquiries.


These are some of the current projects that the Center is working on.

Accessible and Universal Housing Technical Support for North Carolina

Divison of Vocational Rehabilitation Services Logo

wheelchair user at adjustable cabinet

Recognized as providing a valuable service that has influenced the design of countless housing units in North Carolina, another contract has been awarded to the Center for Universal Design by the North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, HHS, to provide technical assistance to the multifamily housing industry.  This multiyear effort has seen the creation of publications such as Accessible Multifamily Housing, Curbless Showers: an Installation Guide, and a QAP (Qualified Allocation Plan) Tech Sheet for Tax Credit Funded Multifamily Housing, publications that have become valuable resources for the building industry. 

For this project, staff:

  • Provide Technical Assistance such as making suggestions for improving the design of bathrooms, kitchens and common use spaces
  • Review design and construction drawings for building code compliance
  • Answer questions on the accessibility requirements for multifamily housing in the NC State Building Code
  • Create Publications
  • Give Seminars – Provide Design Consultation Training
  • Support new building product development such as the design of innovative adjustable flexible cabinets
  • Participate in the NC Accessibility Development
Funding: NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Community Services Section

Triangle New School
Richard Duncan is currently serving on the Advisory Council for the Triangle New School. Currently mid-way through a  planning process, the New School, is intended to be a model program serving children with disabilities from a four county region in central North Carolina: Wake, Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Chapel Hill/Carrboro. For more information please go to the School's web site:


Wheelchair user in modified kitchen

Beamon House Exterior

Wheelchair user at shelving area

Bathroom Modification Plan

Another Bath Modification Plan with ramp

Outreach and Dissemination Program
The primary goal of the Center’s outreach and dissemination program is to develop and promote effective communication channels for utilization of the information developed in the other activity areas (research, design development and education and training) locally, nation wide and internationally. The Center currently offers information and referral to consumers and professionals via a 1-800 number, email and through a website. The Center also offers technical assistance both for housing and for public environments. The Center’s publications are available for order or downloading and are widely and frequently requested. 

From data collected over the last few years, the Center has found the following:

  • North Carolinians make up about 14% of the information requests handled by the Center
  • North Carolinians make up about 16% of those that download tracked publications from the Center’s web-site
  • North Carolinians purchase about 9% of Center publications sold.

Funding: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Community Services Section and North Carolina State Funds Allocation

Information and Referral
The Information and Referral Specialist at The Center for Universal Design replies to e-mails, letters, and staffs the Center’s toll free information line, providing information on a wide variety of questions about Universal and Accessible Design, building products sources, architectural products and assistive devices and contact information about other organizations for people who will need help from several sources, while also performing internet searches to find new information or any other action to satisfy a request for information or referral.

Technical Assistance
Whereas Information and Referral requests are able to be addressed by sending someone some information and/or directing them to resources posted on the web-site, there are some requests for assistance that are much more involved.  These are referred to as Technical Assistance activities.  Some examples of Technical Assistance given to North Carolinians are:

  • Universal Design Options for a New Home
  • Remodeling a House or Apartment for Universal Access
  • Universal Design Images for an Article or Book
  • Review and Redesign of Bathrooms for Increased Accessibility
  • Universal Design of a Beach House
  • Review and Redesign of House Projects to be Built for Older Adults in NC
Review and Redesign of Multifamily Housing Units for Increased Accessibility and Universal Usability

Dissemination of Publications
The Center currently has available about 60 publications.  Many of these are available for purchase and increasingly, these publications are becoming available via the web (see below).  Many of these Publications have focused on the needs of North Carolinians and/or been funded by North Carolina entities.

The Center for Universal Design (CUD) maintains a web-site, that increasingly is becoming a critical dissemination mechanism.  Some of its chief benefits are that:

  • It is the recognized international resource for The Principles of Universal Design © Copyright 1997 NC State University, The Center for Universal Design, an initiative of the College of Design
  • It has information can be quickly made available
  • It’s users can “search” for what they need quickly
  • Whole publications can be downloaded
  • Links to related resources can be accessed in real-time
CUD Web site screen capture
Sustainable Design Competition Logo

Sustainable Design Competition
The Center is pleased to participate in the North Carolina Sustainable Building Design Competition. Directed at students in design and construction technology programs at fifteen post secondary schools across the state, the competition includes universal design as part of its design criteria. In this way, hundreds of students each year receive universal design materials and training, and get practice in integrating universal design into housing design. The Design Competition reinforces the connection between universal design and sustainable design: universal features save money and resources by reducing the need to renovate homes as residents' needs change. Universal homes look good and work well for all users.

Funding: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and North Carolina State Funds Allocation


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