A Lesson in Universal Design: How to Make Stairs Safer for All

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One of the most dangerous stairs people encounter each day are the ones leading into the house from the garage. Often these are cheap, prebuilt MDF stairs that are narrow, steep, and a hazard to everyone: toddler, teenager, adult, and senior alike.

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.