As Tokyo prepares for the upcoming Olympics and Paralympics, accessibility is an area of strong interest to many. Ice sledge hockey player and three-time Paralympian Uehara Daisuke commends the strong emphasis on universal design ahead of the games, but emphasizes that there is much more to be done.
Transport for London has launched the “spectator journey planner” online in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games. The spectator journey planner helps visitors use the public transportation system to get to Olympic venues.
The spectator journey planner includes various accessibility options, and can plan a route around a traveler’s needs. Uses can request a journey with staff assistance at stations, stops and piers, or plan a trip that only stops at stations that are wheelchair accessible. Users can also plan to avoid the London Underground altogether, or plan a trip that has the fewest interchanges. Transport for London also has a map of the London Underground that only displays step-less stations. They have also completed audits of key interchange stations, in order to map out accessible routes through the station.
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.