UD Today: Live & Learn conference overview

Where should people go who are impatient for more thoughtfully designed homes, schools, communities, products and services? Where they do more than talk about design equity and innovation-driven action that makes life and learning better for everyone?

No more preaching to the choir. It's time to broaden the conversation. Engage new people, explore new ideas at the Universal Design Today: Live & Learn Conference in Charleston, West Virginia, May 15-17, 2017.

We'll also be announcing a mobile schedule app that will allow you even more flexibility in planning your conference experience with us. View a detailed agenda that includes course descriptions HERE or see the printed program agenda by clicking on the graphic below.

According to ProBuilder.com, today's home buyers are exchanging
lavish extras for stylish practicality that supports a lifetime of 
changing needs and preferences. 

They may not know to ask for Universal Design features by name. 
That's why they need you.

Regardless of style, size or budget, Universal Design makes homes
and communities more livable and marketable. 

Master builder Bill Owens helps designers, builders and 
remodelers integrate the hottest residential trends driving the 
building and remodeling industries. 

Learn how to integrate inclusive design features consumers of all 
ages want, such as: 
-Thoughtful design/layout that supports multigenerational, modern lifestyles
-Multifunctional design for flexible use of live/work space,
kitchens and baths;
-Options to accommodate aging parents, shifting family dynamics;
-Transitional design for style;
-Smart, accessible shelving;
-Higher resale value, broader market appeal...and much more.



  • 10:00 A
    Pre-Conference Workshops
    From 10:00 - 11:00 ish, some dynamic pre-conference workshops will whet your appetite for what's to come.

    -Smart Home Trends for 2017
    -How to Avoid Accidentally Messing Up Education for Nearly Everyone
    -Dirty Little Secrets that Builders Don’t Want You to Know About Universal Design
    -Choosing the Right Tool for the Job: Using the Business Model Canvas and Lean Startup
      Methods for Small Business Development in Rural and Urban Communities

  • 1:00 P


    4:30 P
    Welcome + Future Sessions
    Design. Innovation. Applied Research. These short talks set the stage and the pace for the entire conference.

    Carefully curated short talks by inspiring industry experts bring it all together in what we're calling the FUTURE SESSIONS. These short talks focus on how leadership, advocacy and innovation in human-centered design of places, products and programs support expanded human ability and potential. FUTURE SESSIONS explore design driven innovation in education, entrepreneurship, manufacturing, policy, placemaking, workforce and civic participation, tourism and hospitality, research and development and more.  

    Been wondering how rural communities can benefit from all this talk? The FUTURE SESSIONS are for you.  We guarantee you'll be inspired, informed and motivated by what you see, hear and experience. And you'll be able to put these ideas and connects to work for you in your community.

  • 6:00 P
    AARP Welcome Reception
    Listen, learn, celebrate, connect and touch the future of UD-driven innovation and expanded human potential.

    AARP is graciously welcoming conferees, special guests and the public to join this exciting, big vision reception. RSVP information will be circulated soon, and will be required. (Please see registration page.)

    Design and planning headliners will join a diverse group of visionaries will continue to enlighten us on topics related to quality of place and design-driven innovation for all the things by which we live and learn.

    Local musicians and artists are planning a signature "welcome" to attendees.

    Graphic icon for cocktails for the reception on Monday evening
    Graphic icon depicting friends hanging around with each other Graphic icon for the Universal Design Ignite Talks Graphic icon for the Innovation Alley segment of the conference Graphic icon for cocktails for the reception on Monday evening
  • 8:30 P
    Jam Session, Drinks....
    8:30 - 10:00+  Open Jam Session with Footmad and Friends (Create WV & friends love fun!)

    Some folks love the magic that happens as the madding crowd retreats. If you are looking for a jam session, we're pretty sure you'll find willing and able players.

    Graphic icon of a music note indicating a jam session
  1. 08:00 A
    Breakfast Listening Sessions + Keynotes with Apple 
    8:00 A Meet up for breakfast hour "listening salons" and choose from various listening sessions focused on a variety of community-chosen topics of discussion.
    Photo of Richard Duncan, from the RL Mace Universal Design Institute
    Carol Smith,
    IBM, Watson

    Carol Smith is a research driven UX evangelist who motivates teams to design products and services to meet the needs of their intended users. Carol has led projects for the US government, non-profits and corporations in a variety of industries. Her efforts have improved users' experiences of mobile apps, websites, software, consumer goods and services. Carol has a Masters degree in Human-Computer Interaction from DePaul University. She currently manages a design team for IBM Watson in Pittsburgh, PA. She enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering with UX organizations and in her community. She has presented at more than 70 UX design and technical meetups, conferences and events around the world.

  2. 10:10 A


    Breakout Sessions 1 & 2
    10:10 - 11:00 A   &   11:10 - Noon

    Breakout Session 1 10:10-11:00 A
    UD Hack Session for K-16 and Home Schooling Educators 
    Global Universal Design Innovations - John O’Meara, HEWI
    Universal Design for Technologists and the Generally Curious: Future Technologies NOW - Marshall University & Friends
    Introducing the Deaf Arts Museum Center & Its Lessons - Robert Nichols, AIA, Nichols Design Associates, Inc.
    A Review of Food eCommerce and Opportunities for Rural Food Start-Ups - Mark Gagnon, Ph.D., Harbaugh Entrepreneurship Scholar, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program, College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State
    Stronger Economies Together (SET) Impacts of Comm/Econ Planning in NC & Rural Foods - Becky Bowen,  J.D., Program Manager, CultivateNC, North Carolina Cooperative Extension; Susan A. Kelly, County Extension Director, NC Cooperative Extension, Richmond County Center; Dr. Susan S. Jakes, Associate State Program Leader, CRD for NC State Extension 

    Breakout Session 2  11:10-12:00 A

    Universal Design for Learning: Boots on the Ground Session - PANEL: John Barton, Home School; Rebecca Recco, Apple Distinguished Teacher/Kanawha County Schools; Lee Ann Brammer, WVDE; Dr. Brian Ellison, Marshall University; Jessi Wright WVATS Program Manager
    Next Generation: Future of Creative Placemaking in Rural America - Jennifer Hughes, Community Solutions Specialist, National Endowment for the Arts; Farah Ahmad, Community and Economic Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Savannah Barrett, Program Director, Art of the Rural
    UD Renovations - Dave Brown, Home Matters
    Driving Policy & Incentives to Reach Our Goals - Louis Tenenbaum, Homes Renewed
    The Future of Homes - How Smart & Efficient Could Your Home Be in the Future? - Thom Worlledge, AIA
    UD/UX Coaching Session for Entrepreneurs - Carol Smith, Senior Design Manager, IBM Watson; Das Menon, Industrial Designer     

    Graphic icon for speakers and presenters
  3. NOON
    Lunch + Keynote with RL Mace Universal Design Institute
    Noon - 1:00 P
    Photo of Allison Posey of the Center for Applied Special Technology
    Richard Duncan, MRP, Executive Director
    RL Mace Universal Design Institute

    Richard has spent nearly 25 years in the field of architectural and product accessibility and universal design in residential, public, and transportation environments. He has extensive experience in the design, costs, materials, and products in residential and nonresidential settings. His work includes the subjects of affordable housing and home and repair financing and transportation accessibility as well as community design for constituencies that include people with disabilities and aging households.

    Mr. Duncan has worked at two of the nation's preeminent organizations in the field, the Adaptive Environments Center in Boston, Massachusetts and The Center for Universal Design in North Carolina and has been an associate with the Andrus Gerontology Center at the University of Southern California. He is a graduate of Tufts University and the planning program at the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  4. 1:15 P


    7:00 P
    Breakout Session 3 - 5 + CityLAB + AROUND TOWN
    Session 2 - 1:15 - 3:45 P, CityLAB - 4:15 - 6:15 P, Dinner is on your own AROUND TOWN

    Breakout Session 3 1:10 - 2:00 P

    Complete StreetsVision and Progress from the Rural Edge - Smart Growth America & AARP

    Living in a UD Home: 5 Years Later - Charlotte Wade, RL Mace Universal Design Institute

    Life on the ‘Beer Frontier:’ A Case Study of Craft Beer and Tourism in West Virginia - Daniel Eades, WVU Extension Service, Asst. Professor/Rural Development Specialist; Douglas Arbogast, WVU Extension Specialist; Jason Kozlowski, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Institute for Labor Studies, West Virginia University

    Advancing the Concept of Universal Design - Jordana Maisel, Ph.D., IDEA Center, SUNY, Buffalo

    Technology for Everyone - Apple Presenter

    Universal Design: Accommodating a Wide Range of Lifestyles - Wanda Gozdz, Golden Age Living, LLC & Ron Wickman, Ron Wickman Architect

    Leveraging Local Food for Rural Economic Development - Emily Edmonds, Program Manager, NC Growing Together Project at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, NC State University

    Intergenerational Spaces and Places for Building Meaningful Relationships - Matthew Kaplan, Penn State Professor, Intergenerational Programs and Aging

    Breakout Session 4 2:10 - 3:00 P

    To the Mainstream with Love, From Dr. Martin Keller - Superintendent, WV School for the Deaf and Blind

    Design to Make the Most of Your Recreational Assets: UD for Parks, Preserves, Nature Centers in Parks, Zoos and Aquariums - Marks Trieglaff, Accessibility Consultation and Training Services, Inc.

    Taking Aging in Place and UD to the Next Level - Bill Owens, Owens Construction and Better Living Design Institute

    Promoting Universal Design in Ireland - James Hubbard, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design at the National Disability Authority

    The Predictors and Characteristics of User-Entrepreneurship in Rural Areas - Timothy Slaper, Indiana University

    Expanding the Diversity Conversation by Focusing on Quality of Place: What’s the UD Connection?

    Two Birds, One Stone: Generating Economic and Community Development Outcomes through Applied Student Learning Experiences - Jason Evans, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Agricultural Business Management, State University of New York at Cobleskill and Dr. Marion Terenzio, President, SUNY, Cobleskill

    Interprofessional Collaboration - Debra Young

    Breakout Session 5 3:10 - 4:00 P

    A Makerspace for Everyone: Equipment, Strategies, and Collaboration

    Mon County Habitat’s Promise to the Residents of Deckers Court - Shawnda Cook, Executive Director

    PROactive vs. REactive Medicine for the Bathroom - Susan Duncan, The ABCs of Accessibility Inc.

    Joyful Aging Club Marcelo Pinto Guimaraes, Director do Laboratório ADAPTSE Professor PRJ, Escola de Arquitetura - UFMG

    Connecting People in Need with Valuable Accessibility Resources - Bob Adams, Virginia Accessible Housing Solutions

    Does Design Provide a Bridge for the Arts-Innovation Nexus? An Examination of the Design Orientation of Businesses and Local Creative Milieu - Tim Wojan, Regional Economist, USDA ERS and Bonnie Nichols, National Endowment for the Arts

    A Planners Pair-a-Dice Part 1: LEAD Jefferson County, MSA Catalyst for Community Action - Chance McDavid, Senior Extension Associate,Mississippi State University Extension Part 2: Progress of Planning in the Mountain State - Michael Dougherty, WVU Extension Service

     Breakout Session 6 and CityLAB 4:45 - 6:00 P

    Rural Tourism Development through Participatory Planning and Social Design - Doug Arbogast, WVU Extension; Eve Faulkes, WVU School of Design; and Peter Butler, WVU School of Landscape Design

    Improving Community Mobility - Brittany Perez, IDEA, SUNY, Buffalo

    What is UD about the ADA? - Dominic Marinelli, Accessibility Services

    Impacts of Knowledge-Management Strategies on Firm-Level Innovation - Partridge

    Success Stories from Rural Incubators, Accelerators and Tech Transfer - The Vault, RCBI; WVU Launch Lab; The HIVE, New River Gorge Regional Development Authority; Chemception, Regional Tech Park; Innova, High Tech Park

    Development and Review of a New AgTech Entrepreneurship Course - Mark Gagnon, Ph.D., Harbaugh Entrepreneurship Scholar, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program, College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State

    Afternoon tours of CityLAB projects offer conferees the chance to experience UD in action as a number of locally-driven project owners open their doors, and in some cases, public space hacks (design projects) to everyone. Tour live and virtual demonstration projects including UD homes, stores, schools, adaptive reuse and public space community projects. Yes, we said virtual--you'll don a pair of goggles and virtually tour Complete Streets projects, Universally Designed affordable housing projects, kitchen and bath remodels, and you'll visit classrooms where you can see how integrated technology and barrier free design are  innovation-based drivers of expanding human potential.

    5:30 P Dinner and entertainment AROUND TOWN with new friends. Participating restaurants and entertainment venues welcome conferees to enjoy food, spirits and live entertainment.

    7:00 P Create West Virginia & Friends invite you to the Block Party for music, dance, art, spirits and more!

    Graphic icon for speakers and presenters Innovation Alley logo City Lab logo Around Town logo Around Town logo
  • 8:00 A
    Breakfast Listening Sessions + Keynote 
    8:00 A Meet up for breakfast hour "listening salons" and choose from various listening sessions focused on a variety of community-chosen topics of discussion.
    Image of Carol Smith, an IBM UX expert

    Conferees have the option to ask five people to talk about their lessons learned, what inspires them, and what they plan to do next with this information. Which five will be called? Gonna have to wait and see!

    Breakout Session 7 9:40 - 10:30 A 

    Play, learn, explore in Innovation Alley

    Citizen-Driven Policy and Legislative Wins +  a How-To Guide for Others

    A Builder’s Guide to Aging-In-Place: A Cost – Performance Analysis Lynette Evans, AFriendly House.com

    Public-Private Partnerships and Big Vision for Design Equity

    Designing Homes that Make Life Easier: The Universal Design Living Laboratory, National Demonstration Home Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D., Rossetti Enterprises Inc.

    Determinants of Innovation: Constructing an ‘Innovation Index’ that will help to Distinguish Between More and Less Innovative Businesses - Roberto Gallardo, Mississippi State University and Brian Whitacre, Oklahoma State University

    Innovations in Local and Regional Food Systems - David Hughes, Professor and Greever Endowed Chair in Agribusiness Development, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

    Ergonomics Applied to Bathroom and Stairway Design Part 1 - Jake Pauls, Jake Pauls Consulting Services

    Breakout Session 8 10:40-11:30 A

    Better Living Design - Richard Duncan, Better Living Design Institute

    How Transit-Oriented and Campus Wayfinding Advances Accessibility - Sally Swanson, AIA, Sally Swanson Architects, Inc.

    The UD Return on Investment - Deborah Rozell, Innovative Inclusive Design

    Enabling Health, Wellbeing and Engagement - Debra Young, EmpowerAbility LLC

    Tales from the Digital Frontier in Rural America

    Graphic image of a presenter in front of an audience
  • 11:45 A
    Recognition, Kudos and Thank Yous

    Graphic of a star with cool sunglasses on, depicting the star quality of speakers for plenary Graphic of a star with cool sunglasses on, depicting the star quality of speakers for plenary
  • Noon
    Conference Wrap
    It's a wrap for this inaugural design conference. We're already planning the next!

    We're planning a surprise ending....don't miss!

    Award icon for Placemaker and Creative Cone Awardees Award icon for Placemaker and Creative Cone Awardees

    There's lots to see and do in Charleston and in the region. Please, plan to stay and play for a bit! Let all those great ideas sink in while you enjoy the beauty of wild, wonderful, West Virginia.

    Award icon for Placemaker and Creative Cone Awardees Award icon for Placemaker and Creative Cone Awardees Award icon for Placemaker and Creative Cone Awardees Award icon for Placemaker and Creative Cone Awardees Award icon for Placemaker and Creative Cone Awardees Award icon for Placemaker and Creative Cone Awardees Award icon for Placemaker and Creative Cone Awardees Award icon for Placemaker and Creative Cone Awardees Award icon for Placemaker and Creative Cone Awardees Award icon for Placemaker and Creative Cone Awardees Award icon for Placemaker and Creative Cone Awardees
  • 2:00 P
    For Rural Appalachian Emerging Leaders
    Join emerging leaders from around the region for a brief meet & greet + strategy session.

    Several organizations and individuals are working hard to prepare the next generation for prosperity and meaningful work in the global innovation economy. We want to use this opportunity to gather these great minds, and make a plan for moving forward. The facilities are open for non-profit and conference-related business use. Please, stay and plan with us!

    Graphic icon for networking
  • 8:00 A
    The Morning After...Post-Conference Activities
    Good morning. Whatcha gonna do with the day?

    Chill, Co-Work, Collaborate, Follow up. Explore. Enjoy. Some track sessions will continue today, and some different training opportunities will be offered. CityLAB projects will remain open, and day trips to area attractions will be made available to guests who have extended their stay in Charleston.  With exciting and unique offerings around every corner, Downtown Charleston ArtWalk celebrates the arts from 5:00 - 8:00 pm.  Area attractions, day trips, culture and entertainment events will be posted.

    Graphic icon for exercise Graphic icon for massage or spa Graphic icon of a person thinking--taking it all in
    Day Trips
    You decide.

    There's something to do for just about everyone, from adrenaline junkies, foodies, history buffs, hikers, bikers, makers, birders and music fans to power shoppers and spa enthusiasts. Tour and guide information will be made available to all guests; you're encouraged to book in advance.

    Graphic icon of a tourist Graphic icon of a stand up paddler Graphic of a person in a wheelchair birdwatching Graphic icon of a group of people river rafting Graphic of an adult and a child biking Graphic icon of a person hiking with a baby on her back Graphic icon of a person with a dog on a raft Graphic icon of a rock climber Graphic icon of symbolizing the arts and culture
    Business Development
    You decide.

    Talk business over delicious noshes at AROUND TOWN venues you didn't have a chance to visit. There's plenty to choose from.

    Graphic icon of a networking breakfast , lunch or dinner Graphic icon showing two cocktail glasses
  • 5:00 P
    Art Walk
    From 5:00 to 8:00 P

    With exciting and unique offerings around every corner, downtown venues wine and dine you, and show off local art from 5:00 - 8:00 pm.  The streets are full of music, art, and fun people.

    Graphic icon showing two cocktail glasses Graphic icon of a music note Graphic icon symbolizing the arts and culture
get in touch!
Graphic symbol indicating location of the UDLL2017 conference, which is Charleston, WV
2017 Program
Calendar Icon
2017 Pics HERE
Graphic icon for the City Lab program
2017 Speakers