Our Team



John Salmen is a licensed architect and Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, who has specialized in barrier free, accessible and Universal Design for more than 40 years. In 1991, he founded Universal Designers & Consultants Inc., an accessibility consulting firm that specializes in the field of designing environments that enable use by people of all ages and abilities.

Salmen is one of the leading experts in the technical aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and an international leader in the field of Universal Design.  Salmen has authored several books including: Accessible Architecture, The Do-Able Renewable Home, Accommodating All Guests and Everyone’s Welcome, has co-authored Universal Design Tips-Lessoned Learned from Two UD Homes and published the internationally acclaimed newsletter Universal Design Newsletter from 1992 to 2013.  He has presented hundreds of Universal Design and accessibility seminars, as well as keynote addresses throughout North America and the Pacific Rim.

Salmen has been a voting member of the International Code Council/American National Standards Institute (ICC/ANSI) A117 Committee for more than 20 years and he serves on the Editorial and Scoping sub-committees for the A117.1 Standards for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities.  The firm represented the American Institute of Architects on the ADAAG Review Federal Advisory Committee and Salmen was a voting delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging.  He served for many years as an appointed member of the Montgomery County Commission on People with Disabilities (MD).

Having earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota, he is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).  In addition, he is licensed to practice architecture in the state of Maryland.  In his capacities as Technical Director of the National Center for a Barrier Free Environment in Washington, DC and his tenure as Director of Technology & Information for the American Hotel & Motel Association. Salmen has been involved in all aspects of design for people with disabilities and older adults.  Today, Salmen devotes his time to code development, facility evaluation, design, construction, accessibility litigation, writing, research, and teaching.


  •  Bachelor of Architecture Degree awarded August 1976

  •  University of Minnesota School of Architecture, Minneapolis, MN

Professional Certifications and Affiliations:

  •  Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA)

  •  International Code Council/American National Standards Institute (ICC/ANSI)

  •  Maryland Architectural Registration

  •  American Institute of Architects Potomac Valley Chapter, Member

  •  Certified Association Executive (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives

  •  American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA)

Awards and Recognition:

  •  2006 AIA Potomac Chapter, Paul Kea Medal for Services to the Profession

  •  ASID Certificate of Appreciation, 2002

  •  Ron Mace Designing for the 21st Century Award, Universal Design Newsletter 2000

  •  Construction Specification Institute (CSI) DC Chapter, Letter of Appreciation, 1996

  •  Progressive Architecture Citation, 1990

Matt Tierney - Headshot.jpg


President of Universal Designers & Consultants, Inc. (UD&C)

Matthew is a licensed and award winning architect, educator (University of Minnesota and University of Oregon), and published researcher, who has been practicing in the field of architecture for over a decade. He has extensive experience in ADA compliance from more than 15 years with UD&C as an accessibility specialist,  technical coordinator, and project architect on a wide array of facilities ranging from hospitality and retail, to fair housing and transportation.​

While studying and practicing architecture around the world, he has worked with award winning firms both large and small. His extensive experience working with non-profit and alternative business models have led him to work on a remote island in Lake Victoria, Kenya, within the slums of Kibera, Nairobi, in remote villages in India, and pursuing partnerships with Native American tribal communities in the United States to promote ecological stewardship models for urban and rural applications.

​Tierney is an award winning architect and passionate advocate for design that brings about a better built environment for everyone!


  • Bachelor Science, Architecture - August 2009, University of Minnesota, College of Design, Minneapolis, MN 
  •  Master of Architecture - June 2013, University of Oregon, College of Architecture and Allied Arts, Eugene, OR 

  • Master of Architectural Research Practices - August 2015, University of Minnesota, College of Design, Minneapolis, MN​

Professional Certifications and Affiliations:

  • Registered - Architect American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Registered - National Council of Architectural Registrations Board (NCARB)
  • SAP Disaster Assistance Trained Emergency Responder - CALOES
  • Minnesota Architectural Registration (MNAESLAGID)
  • American Institute of Architects National Disaster Assistance Committee Board Member (20-21)

Awards and Recognition:

  • Ralph Rapson Travelling Study Fellowship Recipient - 2020
  • AIA St. Paul Prize Winner - 2018
  • American Institute of Architects - MN Young Architects Award Recipient - 2018

  • American Society of Licensed Architects - Outstanding Achievement Award - 2015

  • Thomas Meyer Design Research Fellowship - 2014

  • Fibiger Design Research Award - Jan 2010  

  • Berkeley Big Ideas Competition Winner (1st Place-Global Poverty Alleviation) - 2010

  • UROP Grant Recipient - 2009


At UD&C, we enhance our core team with expertise from our vast national network of connections within the accessibility consulting industry, partnering and collaborating with consultants with diverse expertise. If you are interested in working with UD&C, as a consultant, employee or intern, please contact us for more information.

Would you like to become another one of our success stories? Drop us a line today!