Institute for Human Centered Design

Dedicated to enhancing the experiences
of people of all ages, abilities, and cultures
through excellence in design.
Let's Work Together

The Changing Reality of Disability in America: 2020

This documentary film and research project reexamines the experience of disability in America, and shines a light on the stories of those all too often left behind. Watch the documentary below and read the full research report.

Services

An education lecture at IHCD

Education

Opportunities for learning through IHCD include a Lunch & Learn series, trainings, workshops and events. Internship and fellowship opportunities are also available all-year-round.

People discussing design

Consulting

Our scope for consulting includes, among others, plan reviews, assessment of accessibility in the built environment and testing of digital and web accessibility.

Employees designing on computers

Design

IHCD works with entrepreneurs, designers and businesses to evaluate concepts, prototypes or existing designs to assess usability for the widest possible spectrum of people.

A blind user testing a prototype

Research

IHCD has an established database of user/experts, chosen for each opportunity to find the best match between the person and the project.

Services

Inclusive Design

Inclusive design is design that works for the widest sepctrum of users without the need for specialized adaptation, It centers around the user experience with a focus on social sustainability. IHCD uses the World Health Organization’s Definition of Disability as the foundation for our consulting and research work in the field and in our user/expert lab. We believe that good design must work not only for as many users as possible, but also enhance everyone’s experience.

Inclusive Design
a woman reading about inclusive design in the home

News & Events

Above is a tan rectangle with the IHCD logo and "IHCD and Great Lakes ADA" written in small black text. Black square with details about the webinar written in white text.

The Great Lakes ADA Center  invites you to register for the upcoming Arts n Rec session titled “Inclusive Exhibition Design,” featuring Valerie Fletcher, Executive Director, Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) and Jan Majewski, Director, Inclusive Cultural and Educational Projects…

Collage of seven images showing examples of Rex Pace's work. Architectural drawings, photos, floor plans, and a cover of the guidance on the 2010 ADA standards

What is the right balance between mandates of accessible design standards and the aspirations for fully inclusive environments? 

The answer still is evolving and maybe always will be but there have been a lot of lessons learned over the past 30 years. While the necessity of minimum…

Designing a World for Everyone Book Cover: A rendering of a woman on a walking path along a major road with young kids pointing up at a wall with lights and some colorful designs

Some people are excluded from the simplest and most basic everyday experiences. Why? 

This is because the act of designing has given insufficient consideration to their level of physical ability or cognitive difference or cultural background or economic circumstance. Over the past 30…

IHCD logo at the top; Access Smithsonian Logo below it

We need your help! Please fill out this survey to help us build a vocabulary, assemble concepts, imagine environments, and define the essence of a museum that will give everyone an enveloping sense of inclusion and welcome. Survey results will appear in an article on the topic in the June 2022…

News & Events

User/Expert Lab

A user/expert is a person who has developed expertise by means of their lived experience in dealing with the challenges of the environment due to a physical, sensory or cognitive functional limitation. IHCD has an established database of user/experts who range from adolescents to people in their ‘80s. Participants help review the usability and accessibility of physical environments as well as products, services and new technologies.

two blind users sitting on a couch

New England ADA Center

IHCD is home to the New England ADA Center; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination in all aspects of life on the basis of disability. There are five Titles within the ADA that outline rights and responsibilities of employers, state and local government, businesses and non-profits, architects and designers and individuals and advocates, and IHCD strives to help customers reach standards set by these titles.

ADA 30th anniversary logo
New England ADA

About Us

A blind man reading with his dog

Mission

We are committed to advancing the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages, abilities and cultures through excellence in design.

Valerie Fletcher with a group of students

Team

IHCD has built a large family of friends and allies over 30 years, and we are proud to say that this inner circle is characterized by both longevity of commitment and an appetite for the next frontier.

The outside view on IHCD's offices

Directions

IHCD is located at 200 Portland Street, Boston, MA 02114.

Visit the directions page for more detailed directions.

Sherll, IHCD's administrative assistant answering the phone.

Contact

Telephone:
1 (617) 695-1225 (v/tty)

Fax: 1 (617) 482-8099
Email: info@IHCDesign.org

About Us