Almost two out of every five working-age (age 25 to 61) public housing residents report having a disability, compared with about 1 out of 10 (11 percent) of the entire working-age population nationally. With the growing emphasis on public housing programming on self-sufficiency, service coordination, and supportive services, we need to know more about this vulnerable population in order to better serve them and enable them to live independently.
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.