Universal Design is for Everyone

Universal Design allows an environment to be accessed, understood, and utilized to the greatest extent possible, in the widest possible range of situations, while promoting natural movement and use and independence. The design & composition of such an environment is meant to anticipate and meet the needs of potential users with a variety of characteristics including age, size, physical, sensory, mental health, and/or intellectual ability or disability.

There are seven principles of universal design:

PRINCIPLE ONE: Equitable Use: The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.

PRINCIPLE TWO: Flexibility in Use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.

PRINCIPLE THREE: Simple and Intuitive Use: Use of the design is easy to understand regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.

PRINCIPLE FOUR: Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities.

PRINCIPLE FIVE: Tolerance for Error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse

consequences of accidental or unintended actions.

PRINCIPLE SIX: Low Physical Effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.

PRINCIPLE SEVEN: Size and Space for Approach and Use: Appropriate size and space is

provided regardless of user's body size, posture, or mobility.

[source: http://universaldesign.ie/What-is-Universal-Design/The-7-Principles/ ]

Wheel Pad is designed using these principles - from the placement of light switches and outlets, to the curb-less shower, to the dual hinge bathroom door, standard sink design, and more. We've thought of all the details that will support you being comfortable in your new bedroom suite.

The architect who designed Wheel Pad, Joseph Cincotta of LineSync Architecture, has worked on various ADA projects for the State of Vermont as well as pro bono for older churches and others. The video below shares his universal design for a house in Portland, OR, for our inspiration behind Wheel Pad, Riley Poor. Check out the many details devised to transform Riley's daily life:

Luella Strattner