What is Universal Design?
In Architectural terms, Universal Design is the creation of products and environments that are usable and accessible by all people to the greatest extent possible. Universal design was created to be able to cover a wider spectrum of human abilities so that every household member could benefit and enjoy all home facilities and amenities.
Who benefits from Universal Design?
Here are the Seven Universal Design Principles
- Same means of use, or equivalent, designed for all people with diverse abilities, appealing to all users, not segregating or stigmatizing any users.
- Privacy, Safety, and Security equally available for all
- Accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities including both left and right handed users
- Adapts to user’s pace and aids the precision
Simple and Intuitive
- Use of the item easily understood independent of experience, language, knowledge, or ability to focus
- Consistent with user expectations and intuition
- Information arrangement reflects importance
- Design that communicates what the user needs to know independent of the surrounding conditions or the user’s senses, such as hearing
- Provides the information several ways: such as verbally, visually, by touch for the blind, and in large print for those with love vision
Tolerance for Error
- Minimizes hazards and provides warnings
- Minimizes consequences of accidents/mistakes and provides fail-safe features and a means to correct mistakes, such as a cancel button
Low Physical Effort
- Reduces repetition and sustained effort
- Requires only reasonable operating force
- Allows user to maintain a neutral, normal body position, with little or no bending
Size and Space for approach and use regardless of body size, posture, or mobility
- Clear line of sight for standing or seated user
- Components reachable from a seated or standing position
- Accommodates variations in hand and grip size
- Allows user to approach, reach, or manipulate in the appropriate space, such as doors and hallways wide enough for wheelchairs and reduced height or extended counters to accommodate people of small stature or in wheelchairs.
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