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About J. L. Mueller, Inc.

Photo of Jim MuellerJ.L. Mueller, Inc. was founded in 1982 by Jim Mueller, an industrial designer who has worked in the field of design for people with disabilities since 1974. He is recognized as one of the most experienced designers in working with people with disabilities to increase independence at home, at school, and at work through design. Since 1982, J.L. Mueller, Inc. has provided:

Job accommodation assistance to hundreds of persons with disabilities and their employers through on-site assessment, reasonable accommodation, and ergonomic job and workplace design. Clients have included:

  • Ciba Specialty Chemical Corporation
  • Ciba Vision Corporation
  • New York Life Assurance Company
  • Novartis, Inc.
  • UnumProvident Corporation
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. Department of State
  • United Cerebral Palsy Associations, Inc.

Designs of workplaces and tools to reduce job and workplace design features which can cause or exacerbate disabilities. Clients have included:

  • Ciba Vision Corporation
  • Herman Miller, Inc.
  • Potomac Electric Power Company
  • United Technologies Corporation
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. General Services Administration
  • Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Training in job accommodation, disability management, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, including legal and business incentives for disability management and effective methods of reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities. Clients have included:

  • AT&T
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Industry Labor Council
  • Lucent Technologies
  • Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
  • Pacific Bell Telephone Company

Product design research on the demographics, economics and ergonomics of disabilities. Clients have included:

  • Booz Allen & Hamilton
  • Ericsson, Inc.
  • Herman Miller, Inc.
  • NCR
  • Steelcase, Inc.
  • Sunrise Medical

About the Founder

Jim Mueller is an industrial designer with more than 20 years of experience in assistive technology, disability management, and universal design. He is recognized as one of the most experienced practitioners and advocates of universal design - design for people of all ages and abilities - and is one of the authors of the 7 Principles of Universal Design. His clients have included Federal and State agencies, private employers, disability insurers, and product manufacturers.

Since 1974, Jim has served as a consultant to employers, product manufacturers, and rehabilitation research centers, as well as a designer/fabricator of hundreds of workplace and home modifications for individuals with disabilities. His design projects have included a Technical Support Facility for a rehabilitation center, concealed head protection for seizure-prone individuals, a portable, wheelchair-accessible miniature golf course for an elementary school, and an experimental electric wheelchair for testing seating and lightweight frame design. He has also consulted on the design of business furniture, personal computers, and telecommunications products.

Jim holds a Bachelor of Industrial Design degree from Syracuse University and Master of Arts degree from The George Washington University. His consulting firm, J.L. Mueller, Inc., is located in Chantilly, Virginia, about halfway between Washington, DC and the Blue Ridge Mountains and 850 miles east of his hometown of St. Louis.

From 1974 to 1982, Jim served as Research Scientist at the George Washington University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on a funded project to study the ergonomics of disabilities. His responsibilities included assessment, design, fabrication, and evaluation of assistive devices for children and adults with disabilities. These devices were shown to dramatically increase functional independence with minimal expense and dependence on complex technology. This project culminated in the publication of two resources on environmental design for people with disabilities, Designing for Functional Limitations and Accommodating the Disabled Student. He also participated in the development of print and video resources to assist employers in accommodating employees with disabilities.

In 1982, Jim established his disability management consulting firm to put this successful research into practice by assisting employers in hiring and retaining workers with disabilities. He incorporated this experience into the illustrated guides to job accommodation, The Workplace Workbook in 1990 and Workplace Workbook 2.0 in 1992.

Since 1993, Jim has served as a consultant to North Carolina State University's Center for Universal Design, participating in the creation of the 7 Principles of Universal Design in 1997. Since 2001, Jim has also served as a Project Director for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wireless Technologies in Atlanta, GA. As a member of the Accessibility Forum, Jim is active in the development of testing procedures for the implementation of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments.

Jim regularly presents his work in local, regional, and national conferences of rehabilitation professionals, designers, facility managers, and people with disabilities. He also conducts training programs for private businesses and public agencies on the subjects of disability management, job accommodation, and Universal Design. He has produced several books and videotapes on the subjects of assistive technology, disability management, and universal design and has contributed to teaching publications and journals by Design Management Institute, Harvard Business School, and Industrial Designers Society of America.


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Industrial Designers Society of America


James Mueller
J. L. Mueller, Inc.
(703) 222-5808
(703) 378-5079 Fax


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4717 Walney Knoll Ct.
Chantilly, VA 20151