Jim Mueller first became interested in designing for people with disabilities as an industrial design student at Syracuse University. After a few years on staff at design consulting offices, Jim joined a rehabilitation center in Washington, DC, as a designer, fabricator, instructor, and researcher in assistive technology. Eight years later, he began his own consulting firm specializing in disability management and design to address the needs of people with disabilities as employees and as customers.
From 1994-2004, Jim served with architect Ron Mace and a team of architects, product designers, engineers, and environmental design researchers to establish and implement the Principles of Universal Design. These seven Principles are now available in 13 languages and are widely used as the gold standard for communicating and evaluating universal design.
Jim's clients have included individuals with disabilities, national disability organizations such as Muscular Dystrophy Association and United Cerebral Palsy, businesses such as AT&T, Herman Miller, MetLife, Novartis, Steelcase, and Verizon, Federal agencies including Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of State, General Services Administration, and the Library of Congress, and state vocational rehabilitation agencies in Washington DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
In 2014, Jim began pursuing universal design in fine art and craft, toward the goal of truly inclusive art forms, crossing the borders among abilities, ages, cultures, and languages. He lives in Virginia, midway between Washington DC and the Blue Ridge Mountains.