Universal design is a concept that emphasizes the creation of spaces, products, and experiences that are accessible to people of all abilities. This approach is increasingly being embraced by businesses, organizations, and governments as a way to improve customer experiences and broaden their customer base. In this blog post, we will explore some examples of universal design and their impact on accessibility.
Access to building- stairs and ramps
Access to buildings is one of the most critical aspects of universal design. Traditional stairs pose a significant barrier to people with mobility challenges, while ramps provide an accessible alternative. Ramps are not only useful for wheelchair users but also for people with strollers, walkers, or anyone who prefers to avoid stairs. Adding ramps to entrances and exits can make a space accessible and welcoming to everyone.
Playground access for users with diverse mobility skills
Playgrounds are designed to be a place for children to play and have fun. However, they can often be inaccessible to children with mobility challenges. By incorporating elements like ground-level play features, transfer platforms, and accessible swings, playgrounds can become inclusive spaces for all children. This approach not only benefits children with disabilities but also promotes interaction and socialization between children of different abilities.
Automatic door to allow entry without need to use a door handle
Automatic doors are another example of universal design that can make a space accessible to everyone. They eliminate the need to use door handles, which can be difficult to operate for people with limited hand mobility. Automatic doors also benefit people carrying heavy items or pushing strollers. Adding automatic doors to public and private spaces can create a more welcoming environment for all.
Curb cut for easy transitions from sidewalk to street and vice versa
Curb cuts are sloped transitions between the sidewalk and the street that allow for easy access for people with mobility challenges. Curb cuts benefit wheelchair users, people with strollers, and anyone carrying heavy items. They also make streets safer by reducing the need for people to step off the curb onto the street, which can be dangerous. Adding curb cuts to sidewalks is an excellent example of universal design that promotes accessibility and safety.
Water fountains to allow access for users of all heights and abilities to extend their arms
Traditional water fountains can be difficult for people of different heights and abilities to access. Universal design water fountains are designed to be accessible to everyone. They are typically designed to be at different heights and with features that enable people to extend their arms comfortably. These water fountains also benefit people with mobility challenges who use mobility aids that make it challenging to reach typical water fountains.
In conclusion, universal design concepts are being implemented in many private and public spaces, making them more accessible to people of all abilities. The value of universal design is in improving customer experiences and broadening the customer base for businesses. By incorporating universal design features like ramps, automatic doors, and accessible water fountains, businesses and organizations can create more welcoming spaces for everyone. Universal design is a win-win for both customers and businesses.