Michael Gravante loves theater. The high school senior has been acting in local performances since he was in first grade and he plans pursue a theater major when he goes to college next year. His mother, Elaine Gravante, describes him as a walking, talking Broadway encyclopedia. But Michael’s autism spectrum disorder makes some theater experiences inaccessible to him.
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.