This paper describes a design charrette conducted with architects in a Universal Design (UD) graduate discipline. UD was discussed with emphasis on aspects of accessibility and wayfinding. Impacts of UD on the design process, aesthetics, professional ethics and participation of users with disabilities were assessed. The architects participating in the program developed a design project of a public service building. Such buildings are important introductions of local state governments to simplify bureaucratic needs of the population. The group charrette introduced potential users with various disabilities to evaluate the design proposal. Communication tools were employed, such as tactile maps. To prepare the design, the brief was developed through value priorities and the 'problem seeking' method. Wayfinding and legibility of specific services, offered in the new building, were considered of prime importance. The design process, the proposal and the participation of users with disabilities were evaluated. Results showed that architects, even with the specific importance given to UD in the process, were concerned with formal or aesthetic aspects of the design. Accessibility was translated through the introduction of ramps within the building complex and a route leading from the local bus station to the new service building. The documentation of the design process showed little differentiation to a traditional process based on analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Thus, although the professionals were, through pre-design activities, made more aware of UD necessities and more sensitive to user specific needs, the design process proceeded unchanged. New attitudes and procedures were restricted to the communication tools developed for the participatory phases. Thus professionals resist new ways of doing things and will give emphasis to aesthetics and the functional program, elements stressed in both formal education and in architectural critiques. Few new attitudes were observed. This may be due to the fact that the participatory phase was only introduced during design evaluation and potential users were not part of the pre-design and design development phases. Also, the designers of this charrette all came from schools were UD has only recently been introduced into architectural pedagogy, thus not yet an essential part of the professional studio. Analysis of the participatory phase showed that potential users with visual disabilities had difficulties understanding the design itself and the accessible route and wheelchair users criticised various access elements. The charrette showed that to increase professional designers sensitivity towards UD issues, potential users with disabilities must participate from the start in the design process, giving inputs to the pre-design discussions, definitions of the program and direct design development beyond formal aesthetic issues, as well as impact new communication tools which facilitate design evaluation.