What is Universal Design?
Universal design is all around you—you just may not call it by that name. It’s the mindset in design, architecture and city planning that makes buildings and environments universally accessible to those of all ages, abilities and disabilities. Check out 14 ways to make a home safer for older people. Common examples of universal design include:
• Making certain all spaces are easily accessible via ramps, elevators or design that eliminates the need for these
• Doors that are 36 in. or greater in width, with handsets that are levers rather than knobs
• 60- x 60-in. turnaround spaces for those using wheelchairs, scooters or other mobility aids
• Light switches that operate using flat panel switches versus toggle switches
Other elements of universal design include “talking” stop lights, closed-captioned television and buttons and controls that can be distinguished by touch.