Chris Schlechty remembers a high school friend struggling to use his computer the way most other kids did, typing away at a conventional keyboard to chat with other teens. Like Schlechty, the friend had a disability that limited the dexterity of his hands.
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.