Universal Design, the Design for Everyone
Universal Design is a concept that is inclusive of everyone. It is a much different term than the most known accessibility legislation, the American Disabilities Act of 1990. Universal Design goes above and beyond ADA. Universal Design is about creating products and environments that are most usable for everyone, no matter who they are or what disability exists. In 1997, North Carolina University developed seven components of Universal Design, including:
- Equitable Use
- Flexibility in Use
- Simple and Intuitive
- Perceptible Information
- Tolerance for Error
- Low Physical Effort
- Size and Space for Approach and Use
More importantly, we know that only 1% of all households in the United States of the top 5 universal design components in their home.
- No step entry (in at least one location in the home)
- 36-inch doorways and 42-inch hallways
- First-floor living (essential rooms on the first floor)
- Light switches, controls, electrical outlets, and thermostats easy height
- Easily usable handles, recommending lever handles as opposed to knobs.
Not only does Universal Design create an inclusive environment accessible for everyone, but it is also a design that promotes living in your home as you age and helps to reduce fall risks in the home. Universal Design is a perfect complement to promoting healthy and positive aging. “The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design” -Ron Mace.
Universal design allows ease of use no matter the abilities of the person using the design. There are numerous universal designed products out there that many people just haven’t discovered. I hear a lot from clients who have difficulties opening doors, opening jars, turning on faucets, and opening water bottles, and prescription bottles. At Durable Assistance & Consulting, we provide universally designed solutions that promote individual dignity, independence, and improved quality of life. Imagine if you absolutely can’t open your medication bottle independently and you live alone, or you cannot turn on the water at the sink or turn a doorknob to get into your home. These situations make life difficult and there are financially feasible solutions.
As a newer concept, universal design is not always easily understood so I have provided an example of products we carry to improve your independence. DA&C offers anti-slip solutions for the home including jar openers and pill openers. These are top sellers and customers are happy with the cost and ease of use. If you would like additional information, contact us at email@example.com