Friday, September 14, 2012

Universal Design Reflection

Universal Design (UD) is an idea that originated in the field of architecture to meet the diverse needs of different users and clients. When a UD approach is applied to the creation of products and environments, access to these products and environments are broadened because inclusive features are incorporated into the design. By anticipating a variety of needs, ages, abilities and disabilities, planners can appreciate the notion of diversity as an essential part of their planning and work.

We can see many examples of environments, products, and services where UD has been applied in some way: sidewalk curb cuts (many of which are now starting to incorporated raised bumps for added friction for those scaling up or down them), TV closed captioning, electronic doors for entryways to buildings, ramps, timers and chimes at walk/don't walk signs, and many others. One of the crucial aspects of Universal Design is that its inclusive aspects benefit all users, regardless of ability.

Here's a summary of the UD Principles:

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