GUDC Welcomes new board member Fred Dwain Cawyer, AIA – Accessibility Architect, Interior Designer and Registered Accessibility Specialist

Home » News » GUDC Welcomes new board member Fred Dwain Cawyer, AIA – Accessibility Architect, Interior Designer and Registered Accessibility Specialist

Fred Dwain CawyerFred Dwain Cawyer AIA is a licensed architect and interior designer based in Dallas, Texas USA.  He is President of ARS, PLLC – Accessibility Resource Specialists. His area of professional focus is as a registered Architect and Interior Designer specializing in accessibility compliance consulting for commercial construction projects. In Texas he is a Registered Accessibility Specialist – licensed through the State of Texas – Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation / Architectural Barriers Division (TDLR-AB).

Fred earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Abilene Christian University and a Bachelor of Environmental Design (BEnvD) and a Master of Architecture (MArch) with a Building Design option emphasis in Healthcare planning and design from Texas A&M University.

During his initial career, Fred worked with Harwood K. Smith & Partners (HKS, Inc.), a world-renowned architectural and engineering firm based in Dallas.  Since 1995, Fred has specialized in the coordination of over nine-thousand accessibility compliance related plan reviews and on-site inspections of both public and private commercial construction projects – representing billions of construction dollars nationwide. Fred also consults as an expert witness in accessibility related law cases and provides Fair Housing Act (FHA) consulting on multi-family apartment housing construction nationwide.

With a passion for teaching accessibility compliance related topics, Fred is active in presenting to fellow design professionals and the construction industry.  During the current COVID virus shut-down, he is a regular guest speaker through webinar based presentations.

An active member of national, state and local Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, he has served on many component committees.  Fred initiated a state-wide Student Design Competition through the Texas Society of Architects – representing the profession to the multiple Schools of Architecture in Texas. Because of his active participation in the architectural design industry, Fred was honored by the Dallas Chapter AIA as a Young Architect of the Year in 1987.

As a founding member and 2010 past President of the APA – Accessibility Professionals Association, Fred has shared knowledge of accessibility in the built environment and how to be more inclusive to the physical and cognitive needs of people with disabilities.  Working with the APA and with the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities, he established the statewide accessibility-oriented APA / GCPD Design Awards competition.

With his higher objective of changing the world for the better, Fred’s concern of more inclusive physical accessibility for all ages directly responds to the everyday needs of Universal Design. In his constant pursuit of assisting his clients to functionally meet the accessibility regulated codes and standards, he provides understanding as to “why” the necessity of compliance with the commercial regulations.

When presented in a seamless method of addressing basic human needs, Fred’s presentation material and consulting includes the governmental requirements for all levels of educational buildings, historical sites, museums, civic and cultural places.  He coordinates training with architects, engineers, interior designers and landscape architect and consulting and professional engineering companies on both private and public business sectors.  Creating workable and inclusive environments meeting physical needs by communicating better wayfinding techniques is often a challenge.

Successfully assisting property owners create design-oriented and functional, effective and accessible environments are Fred’s greatest professional goals.

As Fred often states, “he lives daily within the technical side of physical accessibility and useability criteria.  However, he believes that the sensitive implementation of Universal Design principles takes our lifestyles of daily activities of inclusion to another level – dealing with the challenges of life for a universe of people.”

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Global Universal Design Commission

Global Universal Design Commission, Inc., (GUDC) a not-for-profit corporation, was established to develop Universal Design (UD) standards for buildings, products and services.



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