Sarah Szanton spent years as a nurse practitioner calling on low-income elderly patients in West Baltimore. She tells the story of a 101-year-old patient living in a public housing high-rise. The woman could not read, could not walk, and—having outlasted her friends in the building—was afraid of her neighbors.
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.