Information for educators

Universal Design is being promoted at International, European and National levels as a way to enhance innovation and create a more inclusive society. Universal Design prioritises all peoples’ needs in design. The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design hosts the Universal Design Grand Challenge each year to promote Universal Design in education in Ireland. The competition focuses on students of design including Architects, Engineers, Products and Software. Students skilled in Universal Design will have an advantage in their future careers.

Your role

Inspire and facilitate your students to solve real-life problems for people of any age, size or ability.

Promote the Universal Design Grand Challenge.

  • Advertise the UDGC within your courses and educational institution. Advertise the UDGC within your courses and educational institution. Click here to download a graphic to share in your lecture slides, on your intranet or on social media

Support student entries

  • Support them in identifying 4 or more ways that they can incorporate Universal Design Principles into their work.
  • Confirm the student’s entry: All student entries are required to nominate a course tutor or school representative to confirm they know the student project and the information in the entry form.
  • Attend the awards ceremony: The finalists and their tutor/school representative will attend the Universal Design Grand Challenge Student Awards Final on 15th November 2022.

Teach Universal Design

The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design has developed a suite of curriculum materials for use by tutors in teaching Universal Design. The materials are available through request to the Centre’s Senior Design Advisor with responsibility for Education, Dónal Fitzpatrick, who is available to advise on support their use. Contact Dónal at or + 353 (0)1 608 0456.

These curriculum materials are provided for free by the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design. A sample of these curriculum materials is the animation “Meet the Normals – Adventures in Universal Design” - a fun and informative animation showing the need for and how Universal Design can be achieved in the design of everyday things and situations.

The curricula materials (including powerpoint presentations, notes and video) are packaged in a 5 ECTS module optimized for teaching to first year students, but also suitable for teaching students of any level.

The module is comprised of 5 units covering:

  • Motivations for universal Design
  • The Universal Design Process
  • Evaluating Universal Design
  • Diversity in the user population
  • Case studies of good practice in Universal Design.


The Universal Design Module has been trialed and is being taught in the following educational institutions in Ireland: Cork IT, CIT, NUI Maynooth, DKIT, TU Dublin.