The Instiute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) is an international education and design non-profit consultancy, dedicated to proving the power of design to enhance experience across the spectrum of age and ability. In response to an ever-diversifying client base, IHCD analyzes the experience of older people and people with disabilities interacting with places, products, and service environments to identify potential impediments. IHCD’s team designs solutions that transform often subtle barriers into assets that work better for everyone.

Never before in history has our population been more diverse in age, ability and culture. In the US population, 36 million people are over 65, there are 78 million baby boomers, and 54 million people with a disability; of the 306 million Americans, 1/3 of them experiences some functional limitation, but we live, on average, 30 years longer than 100 years ago. Design is the great enabler.

There’s an extraordinary business opportunity to design products, places, information and services that minimize the limits of some while enhancing the quality of life for all. Universal design is a way of thinking, a lens for critiquing what is in order to imagine what could be. ‘Designing to include’ is the heart of socially sustainable design solutions.

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