Universal Design


Universal design (inclusive design) refers to broad-spectrum ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to older people, people without disabilities and people with disabilities. As life expectancy rises and modern medicine increases the survival rate of those with significant injuries, illnesses, and birth defects, there is a growing interest in universal design.

Examples are:

  • Smooth, ground level entrances without stairs
  • Surface textures that require low force to traverse on level, less than 5 pounds force per 120 pounds rolling force
  • Surfaces that are stable, firm, and slip resistant per ASTM 2047
  • Wide interior doors (3’0″), hallways, and alcoves with 60″ × 60″ turning space at doors and dead-ends
  • Functional clearances for approach and use of elements and components
  • Lever handles for opening doors rather than twisting knobs
  • Single-hand operation with closed fist for operable components including fire alarm pull stations
  • Components that do not require tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist
  • Components that require less than 5 pounds of force to operate
  • Light switches with large flat panels rather than small toggle switches
  • Buttons and other controls that can be distinguished by touch
  • Bright and appropriate lighting, particularly task lighting
  • Ramp access in swimming pools
Support Accessories - Towel Bar