Public Buildings

universal design graphic

UD: Diversity of explanations and interpretations

After spending time with Professor Ed Steinfeld, Professor Rob Imrie and Dr Kim Kullman at various events, workshops and meetings in the last three weeks, I’ve expanded my thinking about universal ...
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emergency exit stairway

Universal Design and Public Space Emergencies

Universal design has been a topic of much discussion in recent times. In fact, the Association of Consultants in Access Australia dedicated their recent national conference to the theme “Universal ...
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ADA-Library-of-Congress

The ADA and Inclusion in Libraries

The history of libraries serving people with disabilities is long and distinguished. Libraries were often the first social or government institutions in many communities across the nation to recognize the ...
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people engaging in sport activities

Guide opens door to sports accessibility

Sport and Recreation Victoria has launched a new web portal to aid architects, designers and project managers to build better public places. The Design for Everyone Guide was unveiled by ...
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UB IDeA Center receives $4.6 million federal grant

The University at Buffalo’s Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center) has received a fourth round of federal funding to continue its work on a wide range of ...
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view of hospital room with text boxes inserted into photo highlighting room features

Cornell Study Shows Good Design Means Better Health Outcomes

Many health care facility owners hold the assumption, that new design and construction offer little to no financial returns. In a recent Cornell study published in Health Environments Research and ...
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interior view of mary free bed ymca

YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids Aims to Make the Mary Free Bed YMCA the First Building in the World to have Universal Design Certification

“Our community is embarking on the remarkable mission of building the first health and wellness facility in the world specifically designed to equally serve both able-bodied individuals   as well as ...
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illustration of diverse people at bus stop

Why Universal Design is Not Just ‘Access’

The term is largely attributed to the late Ronald L. Mace, former program director of The Centre for Universal Design and is said to have been coined as early as ...
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universally designed furniture being used by people with disabilities

Why Universal Design is Vital

For their biannual conference to be held later this year, the Association of Consultants in Access Australia (ACAA) have made the theme of the conference ‘Universal Design – a better ...
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elementary school in rural Buckingham, Virginia

How Smarter School Architecture Can Help Kids Eat Healthier Food

To address the growing obesity crisis among its children, a rural Virginia school had to give itself a full redesign ...
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President George H.W. Bush signing the Americans With Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990

The Americans with Disability Act at 25

When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law 25 years ago, "everybody was thinking about the iconic person in a wheelchair," says civil rights lawyer Sid Wolinsky. Or that ...
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interior view of the museum of disability history's exhibits that help create awareness and establish a platform for dialogue and discovery

Disabilities on display

Dedicated to the collection, preservation and display of artifacts that help to shine a light on the history of people with disabilities, the Museum of disABILITY History remains committed to ...
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architectural facade

Expanding the frontiers of universal design

Interior designers take accessibility beyond building code requirements | Universal design encompasses much more than physical accessibility. It means creating spaces that are meaningful to their diverse users, it means ...
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aerial view of Fuji Kindergarten in Tokyo

Inside the world’s best kindergarten

At Fuji Kindergarten outside Tokyo, kids make the most of a magical environment designed just for them. The roof of their oval-shaped school, designed by Tokyo-based firm Tezuka Architects, is ...
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exterior view of playground at Australia’s Northern School for Autism

‘Design empathy’ builds inclusive spaces for people with autism

Fluorescent lights. A wall painted bright yellow. A smoke detector that keeps beeping through a meeting. These are things that you might encounter in an office or a classroom without ...
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ramp inside ed roberts campus building

The Substantive Impact of Universal Design

If you stare at the periodic table long enough, you find your element — a scientifically natural state of comfort, ease and exemplarity. Your math lecture, her running track, his ...
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woman in wheelchair entering a doorway

From the community: Removing Barriers and Transforming Lives At The Center for Enriched Living

What seemed like a dream not too long ago is now becoming a reality. The Center for Enriched Living (CEL) is literally Opening the Doors for people with developmental disabilities ...
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The Helen Hamlyn Centre’s (HHC) design for the interior of a fully inclusive taxi for London, with Hexagon Studio and vehicle maker Karsan.

Q&A: Jeremy Myerson on the Real Meaning of Inclusive Design

The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at London’s Royal College of Art is one of the world’s premier research centers for inclusive design, focusing on three areas: Age & Ability, ...
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illustration of classroom design

The Perfect Classroom, According to Science

It’s bright, quiet, and 72 degrees. And it makes every student feel valued. My public high school didn’t have air conditioning. Come June, when temperatures in New York soared past 90 ...
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adult and older adult shoppers at the entrance of supermarket

The Amazing Village in The Netherlands Just for People with Dementia

Located in The Netherlands town of Weesp is a special gated village called Hogeweyk. It is notable because it has been designed specifically as a pioneering care facility for elderly ...
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Edmonton International Airport’s Graphic Pattern on Floor

The Smart Floors Making Airports More Accessible for Disabled Travelers

The striking graphic floor tiles of Edmonton International Airport compliment the terminal’s distinctive modern appearance, but they’re far more beautiful than that. What might appear to other passengers as a decorative ...
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people in the workplace

Accessibility in the Workplace

With more and more people with disabilities entering the workforce each year, the demand for increased accessibility on job sites continues to grow. While many places of employment adhere toADA ...
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illustration of features of an inclusive town

The city that could help people with AUTISM: Planner designs urban hub to make transport, jobs and public spaces more inclusive for her brother

Finding your way around a bustling city can be difficult – and it can be even trickier if you suffer from autism. The condition affects people in a variety of ...
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exterior view of Advance Special Needs Education Center in Cairo

Designing Buildings for Children With Autism

Can we design a building that makes life easier for people with autism? A place where autistic children can learn more easily and develop with less stress? According to architect ...
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woman in wheelchair being pushed over a bridge

Accessible Design (Above& Beyond) Up at The O2

Access Engineer David Dropkin of Buro Happold and Rosa D'Alessandro of AEG give an insight into the process behind ensuring that this exciting visitor attraction is accessible to as many ...
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play equipment hanging in recreation room

Design for life. AKA design for: all, access, lifespan, universal, inclusive, adaptive and more

What parent hasn’t cursed steps and stairs as they’ve hauled a baby laden stroller up them? Or protected sharp corners from impact by a pre-schooler’s head? Who hasn’t slipped in ...
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The word AUTISM spelled out over blank puzzle pieces.

Autism Friendly Environments

Dimensions, a non-profit group providing services that support people with autism and learning disabilities, recently conducted an online poll asking the public what type of business they most wanted to ...
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Left: "New Struan Centre for Autism Right: Main street at the Morris-Union Jointure Commission’s (MUJC) Developmental Learning Center (DLC)

An Interview with Magda Mostafa: Pioneer in Autism Design

In 2002, Magda Mostafa, a then-PhD student at Cairo University, was given an exciting project: to design Egypt's first educational centre for autism. The young architect set herself down to ...
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chart showing a bunch of people clustered on the left (without a disability), and progressively fewer people who are more disabled or at least more divergent

Deep Accessibility and Autistic Space

Blog post on WordPress by Ian Ford Sept 3, 2013 Accessibility has historically been focused on creating more inclusive products and spaces for people with mobility disabilities. However in recent ...
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student wellness and recreation center at georgia college and state university

Welcome to the Wellness Center: A New Breed of Recreation Design

Until recently, student health and counseling services have predominantly been offered independently of athletics and recreation. But as institutions contemplate a more unified approach to health and wellness, the boundaries ...
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children sitting on bleachers in school

Creating Schools for All Students, Disabled or Not

At a forum last week at the Center for Architecture, three architects presented stunning designs with this problem in mind and educators from the field and the Department of Education ...
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empty cafeteria in michigan school for the deaf

New Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint is cutting-edge

The new Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint, MI is a 80,000-square-foot, 26-classroom building that includes state of the art design and technology. All classrooms, and even some hallways, ...
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Left: River Street School Right: Sunfield's Rowan and Oak House

Designing for Autism: Spatial Considerations

Last week we looked at the different sensory sensitive approaches to lighting design for autism.  We saw how contradictory recommendations have arisen from a lack of reliable research specific to ...
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person walking in a hallway with others siting the background
Recreation: A younger gentleman walking with an older man in the park
Public Buildings: aerial view of city buildings
Streets: people crossing an intersection
Housing: exterior view of a suburban house
Transportation: close up of dangling handles on a bus