Universal design is understood internationally as a means of achieving an inclusive society. It is a simple idea. Why not design for the most number of people who can use a product, place, building, service or website? But is it actually that simple?
Several myths have arisen in the last 50 years since the term was coined. The term Universal Design is recognised internationally, but there are others including, Inclusive Design, Design-for-All, Human Centred Design, Accessible Design.
For easy reference here is a list of past posts and resources on universal design.
Resources for universal design
10 Things to know about Universal Design lists key benefits and dispels myths
Universal Design: Creating inclusion for everyone is a magazine article
Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority promotes universal design in public buildings.
Diversity of Explanations of UD lists some of the everyday words that can be used to help explain. UD is about diversity so why not have a diversity of explanations.
8 Goals of Universal Design express the principles in a practical way. Easily adapted to any context by using terms and language that suit.
Principles of Inclusive Design by the Commission for Architecture and Built Environment (CABE) in UK.
Hobsons Bay Universal Design Policy is a very useful example of how to devise a policy for an inclusive community.
Digital and web accessibility have their own section on this website.
“UD is an increasingly important feature of nation states seeking to develop a fairer society for people unable to access and use, with ease, the designed environment. It is based on the premise that the design of products and environments ought to ‘be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design’ (Mace, 1988: 1).” (From Universalising Design website which also has more information on universal design in homes.)