Let’s do universal design better, together.
Our team aims to help licensed architects and other professionals design homes that are truly universally accessible and then get those design plans into the hands of home builders across the USA.
We believe that the only way to achieve universal access is to work collaboratively because there are so many impairments and different functional needs throughout our communities.
Design Professionals: Co-design a home with us and help us create the best library of universally accessible home plans.
Home Builders: Join our network so people in your community know who to go to for a universally accessible home.
People with firsthand experience with disability: Be a design advisor and help ensure our work is truly accessible.
No one can do universal design well without help.
Home builders aren’t experts in design or human function. Design professionals aren’t experts in health sciences. Health professionals aren’t experts in design sciences. None of us know everything about all of our neighbors. We all benefit by working together.
Working together is hard.
Most of us weren’t trained to collaborate outside of our field. It’s easy to think that our advanced training is adequate, but our perspectives, processes, and languages are all different. Those of us who do this work professionally also need to be compensated.
Our design process works.
It’s impossible to address a systemic problem like housing without a process and a plan. We’ve figured out how to collaborate remotely, give everyone involved the space needed to do what they do best, keep it as simple as possible, and repeat it over and over.
But money is an issue.
Sure, it’s cheaper to build a house without paying for professional design. It’s also cheaper to design a house without paying for other people to be involved. Time is money and our work takes time. The lack of accessible housing is a big complicated problem.
This is why we’re a nonprofit.
Involving health professionals in design processes isn’t cheap. Donations help fund our team without cost-burdening consumers. Volunteers are important to ensure reliability of our work. There may also be funding opportunities for construction.
It’s a win-win-win.
This will work best if we all benefit. Designers receive a portion of license fees for our design plans. Builders get access to an easy and profitable revenue stream. The ultimate benefit? Housing markets will be more welcoming to people affected by disability.
How you can help:
Create a set of construction documents with us for an affordable and universally accessible home. We’re creating a new marketplace of design plans to empower builders across the USA to build these homes as easily as possible.
1. Universally accessible. Every part of a home needs to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.
2. Affordable. Households with a disability need to be able to buy or rent for ≤ 25% of their income, which is statistically 36% less than households without a disability. Take your region’s AMI and adjust it down 36% to calculate an approximate purchase price and target construction cost. We’re not strict about this target but we want to help as many people as possible.
Licensed Architects: Consider co-designing a home with our team. It’s an opportunity to dive deep into the functionality of every detail to design for as many people as possible, regardless of their health condition or impairment.
What’s in it for you? Aside from helping us achieve our vision of every community across the USA having a surplus of homes that are universally and financially accessible, this can create extra revenue for your business. Builders will need to pay a fee to use our design plans; we’ll split that fee with you.
Other designers: we’re not dismissing your talent. Some localities require a licensed architect’s stamp on construction documents in order for a builder to receive a permit. Let us know if you’re interested in participating in a project and we’ll be in touch with opportunities.
Alternative home designers: if you specialize in a type of home that doesn’t require a building permit, we’d love to talk about doing a project with you.
How you can help:
Join our network so your community knows who to go to when they want to build a new universally accessible home.
Our nationwide strategy:
We’re working toward relationships with a minimum of one home builder in each Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) who is well-equipped to build homes that are universally designed & financially accessible by as many people as possible. This is the key to being able to address the widespread need for accessible housing in our country.
The reason we’re focused on MSAs is because it gives us a practical and realistic structure for a network of builders who can make an impact on a national scale.
Our network is donation-supported and helps fund our collaborative design efforts. Please contact us for details.
How it works: We’re launching a new B2C brand* for people to purchase our home plans through local builders. Consumers connect with you, select a home, and you build it. If an individual or family has a disability, support from a health professional is included to ensure that the best options for needs and budget are selected.
You’re an ideal home builder if: Your business model allows you to build affordable homes (see our definition above) and you’re willing to allow a health professional to be involved during the construction process, particularly if a buyer has a disability.
What’s in it for you? Aside from helping us achieve our vision of every community across the USA having a surplus of homes that are universally and financially accessible, this can create extra revenue for your business by opening up your services to a new and typically underserved segment of the market.
*We’ll reveal the new brand once we have a large enough network. It’s currently not public. Why another brand? (1) Because our collaborative work is B2B and (2) Despite the popularity of universal design in professional & academic circles, most people don’t care about it. People want homes that work well for their needs that they can afford. So we’re creating a clear path to getting a better home. 👍
We’re only working with design professionals (primarily architects) and home builders right now. But please email us and tell us your interests! We’ll keep you updated if a good fit arises.
If you have firsthand experience with disability, you might be interested in being a design advisor:
If you’re in a healthcare program (e.g., OT, PT) or a design program (e.g., architecture, interior design), please email us and tell us your interests! Occasionally we will do a design project/internship with students to provide an interprofessional experience.
Bonus points: get a couple of your friends in complementary fields (i.e., healthcare and design) together. We’ll provide the structure and direction if it sounds like a good fit.
p.s.: we’re 100% remote.