Designing-for-Disabilities

Week 4 – Designing for Disabilities

Discussion 1: Understanding Universal Design

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Universal Design (UD) is the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability. An environment (or any building, product, or service in that environment) should be designed to meet the needs of all people who wish to use it. The built environment refers to structures around us such as buildings and anything in them and the technology environment is all that has been developed technologically. These are not a special requirement, for the benefit of only a minority of the population. It is a fundamental condition of good design. If an environment is accessible, usable, convenient and a pleasure to use, everyone can benefit. By considering the diverse needs and abilities of everyone throughout the design process, universal design creates products, services and environments that meet peoples’ needs. Simply put, universal design is good design.

1. We know that there are laws and policies that if implemented according to the law can make it possible to have a more inclusive society. This can benefit all people regardless of what type of disability the person may have.

The Learning Resources for this week provide you with links to information related to this topic and you also have other articles based on different perspectives of UD to read and will inform you with a more comprehensive understanding of UD. You will also use these articles for your Activity 1 for this Week 4.

2.Please respond to the following questions:

a) What are the seven principles of universal design?

b) Survey your own environment, indoors and outdoors, where you carry on with your daily activities. Do you see the application of universal design related to structure andtechnology?Please explain with 2 examples.

c) What is the relationship between the ADA and Universal Design?

3. Besides the architectural aspect of the built environment and tech-devises that we use every day, we also have the outdoors activities component where designing for disability and universal design can be apply.

a) What could be one area of outdoors activities (sports or recreational, etc.) that can be enhanced with universal design and/or designing for disability. Please, briefly describe.

b) Did you keep one disability in mind? Which type?

c) Is your idea of outdoor activities for every one with-or-without disability and regardless of age?