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Ostroff receives honorary degree at 85
Herald News - 6/13/2018
WESTPORT - Elaine Ostroff, who is internationally renowned for creating universal design principles, recently received an honorary degree from Middlebury College.
"It was a complete and joyous shock," Ostroff said. "I was most appreciative that this honor focused on the real work that I had done since 1978."
Ostroff, 85, is the former chairwoman of the Westport Commission on Disability and a former member of the Planning Board.
She has been an educator, writer and editor of good design for more than 40 years. Her many materials written and collected are part of the archives of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
Ostroff is the co-founder of the Adaptive Environment Center at Massachusetts College of Art, now known as the Institute for Human Centered Design. In 2001, she edited the "Universal Design Handbook," used as a textbook in educational settings.
Twenty-eight years ago on July 26, Ostroff was present at the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act at the White House.
Ostroff said she was chosen for the degree because of the "national and international work" that has been her focus over the years and her co-founding of the Adaptive Environments Center in Boston.
Ostroff is a mother and grandmother of three. A Brandeis University graduate, she grew up in Fall River and graduated from B.M.C. Durfee High School in 1951. Ostroff lived in Westport for many years and now resides in Natick where she can be closer to family.
She is currently a member of Natick Town Meeting, vice-chairwoman of the Natick Commission on Disability and a member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Aging.
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