Jon Sanford

Professor, School of Industrial Design

Jon A. Sanford is a professor in the School of Industrial Design and director of the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access at Georgia Tech. He is internationally-recognized for his expertise in universal design, accessible design, and design for aging, and is the director of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technologies for Successful Aging with Disability, supported by DHHS.

He has more than 300 scholarly presentations and publications and recently served on a study committee for the National Academy of Medicine. He is the author of Design for the Ages: Universal Design as a Rehabilitation Strategy and teaches universal design as a way of design thinking that bridges the gaps in design, HCI, and engineering professions.

Sanford received his Master of Architecture from Georgia Tech and undergraduate degrees in Psychology from Duke University and Architecture from Georgia Tech.


  • B.S. cum laude (Psychology), Duke University, 1974
  • B.S. with High Honors (Architecture), Georgia Tech, 1980
  • Master of Architecture (with High Honors), Georgia Tech, 1983

Employment History

  • Professor, School of Industrial Design, GA Tech, 2016 - present
  • Associate Professor, School of Industrial Design, GA Tech, 2010-2016
  • Director, CATEA, GA Tech, 2008 - present
  • Sr. Research Scientist, CATEA, GA Tech, 2003 - 2009
  • Research Director, EHLS Inc., Glenview, IL, 1999 - 2006
  • Asst. Director/Research Architect, Rehab R&D Center, Atlanta VA,1997 - 2000
  • Assoc. Director/Research Architect, Rehab R&D Center, Atlanta VA, 1995 - 1997
  • Coordinator, Evaluation Program, Ctr. for Universal Design, NC State, 1989 - 1999
  • Research Architect, Rehab R&D Center, Atlanta VA, 1988 - 2016
  • Research Scientist I , College of Architecture, GA Tech, 1981 - 1987
  • Graduate Research Assistant, College of Architecture, GA Tech, 1979 - 1981

Honors & Awards

  • 2014 -- Outstanding Research and Scholarship Award, GA Tech College of Architecture
  • 2008 -- Research Award, College of Architecture, GA Tech
  • 1998 -- Pin Dot Outstanding Paper Award, Rehab Engineering Society of North America
  • 1986 -- U. S. Government Interagency Committee on Handicapped Research
  • 1986 -- Lucille Morgan Community Service Award, Georgia Society of Interior Designers
  • 1983 -- Tau Delta Sigma National Honor Fraternity
  • 1980 -- Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society
  • 1978 -- Louise M. Fitten Memorial Scholarship