Opportunities in art for people with disabilities


Holding a paintbrush in his hand, Romano Johnson stands up from his desk. He pivots to his left and approaches a large sheet of paper hanging on the wall. He pauses, then carefully applies red acrylic paint to the mouth of the man he’s starting to create, a super-strong guy with muscles rippling under his dark skin.

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.