Despite comprehensive civil rights legislation for Americans with disabilities, many city streets, sidewalks, and businesses in the US remain inaccessible. The problem is not just that sidewalk accessibility fundamentally affects where and how people move about in cities but also that there are few, if any, ways to easily determine accessible areas of a city.
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.