Universal Design Today: Live & Learn is a collaborative conference offered in partnership with PATHS, Create West Virginia, RL Mace Universal Design Institute, WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities and the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development.

We are united in asking the question:

How do we (re)create buildings, communities, learning places, programs and products to better meet needs of 21st century people?

Expect a stellar mashup of practical information, creativity, research, and experiential learning as we bring diverse users of places, programs and products together with current and emerging designers of the future.

Partnerships in Assistive Technologies, Inc. (PATHS) a nonprofit organization incorporated in 1996, supports West Virginians with disabilities through technical assistance, individual grants, educational and outreach, and other assistive technology (AT) services.  Universal Design is a key component of inclusive communities and PATHS is proud to be the main sponsor for the 2017 Universal Design Today conference.  In collaboration with subject matter experts and advocates, support organizations, business owners, makers and designers, this innovative, fun conference focuses on the most pressing issues facing the people and communities in our state and in our nation.

Create West Virginia will celebrate of ten years of citizen-driven stewardship toward cultivating the five pillars of Innovation Economy throughout our state’s communities. This combined conference touches on all the elements of five pillars: diversity, education, entrepreneurship, quality of place, and technology. It will also mark the beginning of a national collaboration that aims to take Universal Design principles to Main Street, and to every classroom, and to the design benches of every developer, designer or tinkerer.  This will be the ultimate Quality of Place conference, showcasing design-driven housing and community development best practices, as well as entrepreneurship, education, and technology innovation brought to bear on the creation of places, programs and products that work for everyone, without special accommodations.

The Ronald L. Mace Universal Design Institute is a non-profit organization based in North Carolina dedicated to promoting the concept and practice of accessible and universal design. The Institute's work manifests the belief that all new environments and products, to the greatest extent possible, should and can be usable by everyone regardless of age, ability, or circumstance.

UDI's Better Living Design™Institute is a sensible design approach to improve how homes are designed, built and remodeled in America. The BLD Institute™ promotes, educates and encourages wide adoption of Better Living Design™ practices.

The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development established the "What Works" conference series in 2006, launching a multi-year effort to craft communities of interest among the land grant partners of the Northeast along with our many agency and organizational partners working in the areas of entrepreneurship, social and community-capital, local and regional food systems development, land use, and public policy. This year's conference, "What Works in Rural Business Innovation and Economic Development," marks the fourth event in the "What Works" series and highlights what's working in the Northeast in rural tourism and planning, creative placemaking, local food-system development, business innovation, and much more. Come find out what's working in other states, and share what's working in yours!

Center partners include: Cornell University; Delaware State University; Penn State University; Rutgers University; The University of Maine; University of Connecticut; University of Delaware; University of Maryland; University of Maryland, Eastern Shore; University of Massachusetts; University of New Hampshire; University of Rhode Island; University of the District of Columbia; University of Vermont; West Virginia State University; and West Virginia University


As a systems supplier, HEWI offers universal solutions for hardware and sanitary areas. A high degree of functionality, award-winning design, high-quality and intergenerational usability characterize the products. In this way, comfort, convenience and accessibility become natural givens.

Häfele is both a manufacturer and a distributor, which gives us extensive reach and versatility. When we sense a demand for something new, we either create it or source it internationally. The drive to always think ahead is part of our corporate DNA. Our history has been shaped by visionary entrepreneurs whose innovative thinking has enriched all areas of our business. In fact, through the years we’ve pioneered many new industry standards, trends and best practices. Resting on our laurels has never been an option. We are always looking for ways to help our customers meet new challenges and capture more opportunities.

Your product or brand should be seen here! We’re looking for great companies to help support Universal Design Today.   SPONSOR