Inclusion & Access: Revisiting Universal Design

LAB: PEOPLE & DESIGN

DIVISION: EDUCATION

 

By Danielle Toronyi, Research Development & Knowledge Manager at OLIN

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Landscape architects and urban designers are tasked with the critical responsibility to design inclusive and accessible environments for all users - those with physical, intellectual, developmental, or cognitive disabilities. Since 1990, ADA standards have required the built environment meets the needs of the majority of those with physical disabilities and/or people who use assistive devices. More recently, Universal Design expanded the understanding of accessibility. There still remains under-served Disabled communities whose needs might be unknown to designers.

The Inclusion and Access initiative seeks to identify similarities across the needs of Disabled communities. By approaching design through the lens of the social model of disability, designers can re-conceptualize Universal Design by identifying and designing out barriers to inclusion.

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