In 2016, we wrote about how Universal Design (UD) increases the usability, and safety and health, of buildings. UD is a paradigm for design of the built environment to address human diversity and increase access to the maximum extent. The Global Universal Design Commission (GUDC), a not-for-profit corporation, aims to increase understanding and use of UD in collaboration with the design, development, disability, and aging communities. Our partners include Ambassador Dr. Luis Gallegos, who is Honorary Chairman of the GUDC, and other prominent Ecuadorians leading in the promotion of the human rights of persons with disabilities and older adults.
Global Universal Design Commission
Increasing usability, safety, health, and social participation through design*
GUDC in Action
We're used to seeing accessible bathrooms and wheelchair ramps at the office, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act. But in many ways, employers still don't go far enough to accommodate people with disabilities. The unemployment rate is two times higher for disabled people than the general population.
Jasson Garcia's daily travels look maddening. The sidewalks of Mexico City are broken and cars block pedestrian crossings. In the subway station, there's no elevator, so he has to labor down the stairs. Busy commuters push to get past him. But you don't see this in Jasson's demeanor. The skinny 15-year-old seems totally unfazed. "It just feels normal now," he says. "I can go basically anywhere I want without a problem."
Universal design aims to be accessible to everyone, whatever their age. Things are changing, and the universal design movement, which champions good design that is accessible to everyone, whatever their age, stage, shape, size or ability, has resulted in a plethora of products that, in their own small way, are life-changing.
What is Universal Design? "Universal Design is likely the most misunderstood term in remodeling and construction," said Mimi Altman, Executive Director of NARI of Greater Chicagoland (NARIGC), based in Des Plaines
About one block away from Broadway in New York City, sits a 62 by 23 foot temple tucked away on West 47th Street. Around 200 people spent the night before Valentine’s Day at the Actors’ Temple for their Evening of Broadway Love Songs show. With eleven musical guests, the audience enjoyed a night of performances centered on romance, while raising money for the 100-year-old temple. While it is exempt from Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a historic building, the temple is working toward making the building accessible to all through its Universal Design.