The Same, But Different: Breaking Down Accessibility, Universality, and Inclusion in Design


hen Wendy Chisholm and I got together over a decade ago to write a book about web accessibility, the first thing we had to tackle was the title.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.