Universal design for the less-able

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The term “universal design” has made its way into the industry recently, but what does it really mean and how will it impact on design?

Universal design allows everyone, to the greatest extent possible and regardless of age or disability, to use buildings without the need for specialised or adapted features.

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.