is Universal Design?
Design means design for people of all ages and abilities, but not
necessarily ONE design for everyone. Universal design is a goal
that can be approached creatively from many directions.
designed world doesn't fit anyone perfectly all the time - not even
the mythical person of "average" age and ability. At some
time during our lives, we all have problems with the spaces where
we live or work or the products we use. Age, illness, or accidents
can make these problems more difficult. Universal Design is the
practice of considering these factors in designing as inclusively
and equitably as possible - for people of any age or ability. "Design
for all", "inclusive
design", and "kyoyo-hin"
are essentially identical concepts.
Design means design for people of all ages and abilities. It
is a very broad term that encompasses several similar design approaches
design means design that can be changed to fit the user, rather
than requiring the user to adapt, such as computer software that
allows the user to select large or small display text, or a chair
adjustable for height, angle, etc.
design means design that eliminates barriers to people with
disabilities, such as widening doorways that are too narrow for
wheelchair users. This term is often used as a synonym for "accessibility".
design means design based on the physical, mental, and sensory
characteristics of human users.
design or transgenerational design means design that
specifically considers the mental, physical, and sensory changes
in ability that occur with age.
our lives, we are different from each other in our ability to think,
see, hear, reach and handle things, and move about. Regardless of
our age and abilities, we also share some common characteristics.
Understanding how we are different and how we are similar can help
us understand how Universal Design can help meet our needs throughout
for You :: Thinking
is unique in their abilities to receive, understand, remember, and
act on information. These abilities can be affected the demands
of everyday tasks like
safely while talking on a cell phone
while under the influence of medication
to follow confusing road signs
addition, some people have difficulty thinking due to disabilities
like mental retardation, that affects 1.4 million Americans, or
cerebrovascular disease, which affects 3.0 million.
for You :: Seeing
is unique in their abilities to see colors, judge distances, and
see up things up close and far away. These abilities can be affected
the demands of everyday tasks like
a key into a door lock in the dark
a book under the glare of bright sun
in heavy rain
addition, some people have difficulty seeing due to disabilities
like color blindness, which affects 2.8 million Americans, glaucoma,
which affects 2.6 million, and cataracts, which affect 7.0 million.
for You :: Hearing
is unique in his or her abilities to carry on a conversation, detect
the direction a sound is coming from, and hear high- or low-pitched
sounds. These abilities can be affected the demands of everyday
normal sounds with a head cold
a mobile phone on a noisy street corner
addition, some people have difficulty hearing due to disabilities
like tinnitis ( a constant noise inside the ear), which affects
7.9 million Americans. Altogether, about 22 million Americans have
some form of hearing loss.
for You :: Reaching and Handling
is unique in their abilities to reach, lift, carry, and manipulate
objects. These abilities can be affected the demands of everyday
a door knob with wet or oily hands
with your non-dominant hand
a door while carrying groceries
addition, some people have difficulty using their arms and hands
due to disabilities like arthritis, which affects 33.6 million Americans,
bursitis and tendonitis, which affects 7.9 million, or loss of one
arm, which affects 4.2 million.
for You :: Mobility
is unique in their abilities to stand, walk, and run. These abilities
can be affected by the demands of everyday tasks like
on slippery pathways
through an airport with luggage
furniture down a flight of stairs
addition, some people have difficulty moving due to disabilities
like heart disease, which affects 20.6 million Americans, asthma,
which affects 14.6 million, back injuries, which affect 16.9 million,
and paralysis due to spinal cord injuries, which affects 2.1 million.
of Universal Design