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Universal Design - More Than Handicap Accessibility

Posted April 23, 2013
 
So what is Universal Design?
 
Ronald L. MaceThe concept was coined by architect Ronald L. Mace, who wanted his colleagues to design buildings that were accessible to all, regardless of age or ability. While the idea started with buildings, there are now people pushing the concept in a nuber of other areas, including everything from sidewalk curb cuts to dishes that can be used by people with low vision or dexterity issues.
 
There are even Universal Design conferences that serve as both a showcase and an educational opportunity for people in a wide variety of fields. A lot of the attendees will range from landscape and building architects and contractors to housing agency staff and code officials. They bring together the everyday accessibility issues they encounter and the ideas they have developed to meet those challenges. Through lectures, discussions, exhibits and tours of model area projects, attendees will be exposed to new ideas and probably generate some of their own.
 
There are literally millions of homes that already exist, where some types of accommodations are needed now, or will be needed soon, so that people can fully function in the home that they have. There are a variety of resources available on adapting homes using universal design principles, so if you are facing accessibility limitations in your home, do a search for "universal design," or check out some of the many books that have been written on the topic. There is also a Google+ Community centered around Universal Design, so check it out!
 
Let us know what your experiences or thoughts are on Universal Design on Google+ and Facebook!
 
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