The AHEAD Board of Directors launched the Universal Design Initiative in 2001 in support of AHEAD’s mission to “dynamically address current and emerging issues with respect to disability, education, and accessibility to achieve universal access.”
The past decade has seen a professional shift in postsecondary service provision that challenges us to think not only of the individual’s access but beyond it to more equitable, sustainable and usable postsecondary environments. This shift is informed by progressive views of disability and by the construct of universal design. A universal design approach to service delivery holds the promise of creating more inclusive postsecondary environments, alleviating the need for some individual accommodations and creating a more collaborative, wide-reaching professional role for postsecondary service providers.
The AHEAD Universal Design Initiative was established to:
- promote the concepts of universal design in higher education
- explore strategies that can be used by AHEAD members in promoting universal design concepts in their institutions
- identify readily achievable strategies to promote access to the curriculum for diverse populations promote new conceptualizations of disability
- provide resources and training in these emerging philosophies to the AHEAD members