• rduncan81

Clarifying Universal Design #1

Our response to this article on aging in place and universal design

Universal Design and Stairs in Homes

We recognize some good ideas in this article, but it seems to describe a home with both UD AND custom features (grab bars, wheelchair accessible counter areas). It also has reference to no stairs. A UD home doesn’t have to have to without stairs. It doesn’t even have to have step free access to ever space in the home.

We love stairs

However, a UD home needs to have step free access to primary function areas. Additionally, there is an unfortunate reference to ADA accessibility. A reference such as this is generally a sign that the author isn’t that familiar with UD and access issues in a residential context. As many know, the ADA has no jurisdiction or applicability to most home settings.

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The Ronald L. Mace Universal Design Institute is a non-profit organization based in North Carolina dedicated to promoting the concept and practice of accessible and universal design. The Institute's work manifests the belief that all new environments and products, to the greatest extent possible, should and can be usable by everyone regardless of age, ability, or circumstance.

As the Institute's sister initiative, Better Living Design is changing the way homes and home products are designed, built and remodeled to better meet the needs of everyone at every life stage. 

© 2020 RL Mace Universal Design Institute & Better Living Design. All rights reserved.