Universal Design South Africa

Eastern Cape

It's an Accessible Life: My 24-Hour Journey 

What defines me to others? Where else do I want to go? What do I really need (as I reach for the same well-loved items of clothing each morning)? What does the path look like just around the corner? What will see me through growing older?

Hello 2016! A New Year is beginning and it breathes new life into me as surely as one turns the page of the calendar to reveal a world of possibilities.

As I write this on the last day of Christmas I am on a plane heading east, California dreaming of how holidays used to be. It will be a fond homecoming in New York City for a belated holiday, with my sister and other family members, as I grew up and was educated in New York. Far from the maddening crowds that besieged the City just days ago in Times Square, there's serene quiet as we wander city streets that are still too mild (temperature-wise) due to global warming. But New York City is just a stepping stone to Washington, D.C. where I'll attend the Transportation Research Board 95th Annual Meeting and spread the word about ADA accessibility and Universal Design.

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Article by: Sally Swanson Architect and Founding Principal and CEO, Sally Swanson Architects, Inc.

Posted by Administrator February 11, 2016

Once Architectural Jargon, ‘Universal Design’ Is Changing Education 

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Imagine a wheelchair ramp.

The design is ingenious — it affords people in wheelchairs access to buildings, but it may also be used by able-bodied individuals. This is a classic example of universal design.

Initially conceived in an architectural context, universal design is now being applied to the realm of education, too.

The idea behind Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is to create curricula with which learners from myriad backgrounds — those who are gifted, those with learning disabilities and differences, and those who are twice-exceptional — can thrive. This obviates the need for kids to “catch up” with lessons that meet the standards for what “typical” students should learn at a given grade level. With UDL, the environment meets the student, rather than the other way around, so that learners are free to develop at their own pace.

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Posted by Administrator January 13, 2016

Universal design is gaining traction 

As someone who counsels business people on how to succeed, Karen Bush understands the importance of cooperation and planning.

These are concepts she applies to her personal life as the co-owner of a condominium unit in Le Chateau, the bright pink building on Sunset Point near the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota.

Louise Machinist, left, and Karen Bush in the apartment they share at Le Chateau condominium on Sunset Drive in Sarasota. The co-owners and friends remodeled the unit using universal design principles, even though they have no current disabilities. Staff photo / Harold Bubil

Louise Machinist, left, and Karen Bush in the apartment they share at Le Chateau condominium on Sunset Drive in Sarasota. The co-owners and friends remodeled the unit using universal design principles, even though they have no current disabilities. Staff photo / Harold Bubil

She shares the unit with her friend, Louise Machinist. “She owns one end and I own the other,” said Bush. “In between is common space.”

When the two women bought the unit, they decided to renovate, and they also decided to incorporate principles of universal design.

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Posted by Administrator June 24, 2015

NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards 

GUWAHATI, June 22 – The National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) in association with Mphasis will give away the NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards on the eve of the Independence Day.

The awards will be given away to those who have been doing exemplary work for the cause of accessibility, thus ensuring a life of equality and dignity for people with disabilities. Access symbolises the true spirit of freedom as far as persons with disabilities are concerned.

The annual NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards were instituted in 2010.

“We feel it is very important to honour the ones who are making a contribution in this area,” said Javed Abidi, Honorary Director, NCPEDP.

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Posted by Administrator June 22, 2015

Advocate group calls for Universal Design to be included in new constitution 

BANGKOK, 17 June 2015 - An advocate group for the interests of the disabled has petitioned the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) to push for the new constitution’s guarantee of universal design.

CDC Chairman Prof Borwonsak Uwanna yesterday received the petition from the network of volunteers for the disabled and the elderly as well as university design ambassadors. The group called for the inclusion of the word “universal design” in section 295 of the new constitution in order to ensure the rights of the disabled, arguing that the inclusion would coincide with the new constitution’s agenda of reducing social inequality by providing physically-challenged persons with equal access to facilities and resources.

Prof Borwonsak welcomed the petition, saying that words such as “universal design” and “citizen empowerment” serve as a paradigm shift towards a humanist constitution that emphasizes the importance of individual rights and equality.

Universal design refers to the international standards of designing information, products, facilities and services in a way that is accessible for all participants, including the elderly and the disabled.

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Posted by Administrator June 18, 2015

An Introduction to Universal Design 

Mention universal design and see your companions’ eyes start glazing over. Though formally flashy chairs and posh penthouses may reside at the sexier end of the design world, universal design actually affects us all. So pay attention and prepare to learn something - your less hale days aren’t far off; none of ours is.

 

The term “universal design” is attributed to the architect Ronald Mace, and although its scope has always been broader, its focus has tended to be on the built environment. Those using the term often define it as design “for the whole population,” with the notion being that a design should work for disabled and non-disabled people alike.

The term “universal design” is attributed to the architect Ronald Mace, and although its scope has always been broader, its focus has tended to be on the built environment. Those using the term often define it as design “for the whole population,” with the notion being that a design should work for disabled and nondisabled people alike. And what idealistic follower of design’s evolution would balk at this humanitarian quest? The very term evokes the jet-setting glamour of the late 1950s: a global consultancy with its HQ on Madison Avenue, perhaps, sharing offices with the sharp-suited ad execs from Mad Men, of James Bond’s cover job with Universal Exports. Yet at the moment, the subject seems neither all that glamorous nor, well, universal.

 

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Posted by Administrator May 11, 2015

What is "universal design" as related to housing? 

Universal design is a concept of building a home that is usable by all people, including those in a wheelchair, without the need for further adaptation in the future. It's a concept that is growing in the industry, even in the design of factory-built homes.

Mark Brunner, spokesman for the Minnesota Manufactured Housing Association, says the versatile design trend has caught on among manufactured-home companies that want to appeal to a wider consumer base.

The average buyer of a factory-built home is 53 years old, but buyers also include young families and singles. Manufactured homes can be built on private properties or in a land-lease community with other manufactured homes.

Posted by Administrator January 05, 2015

Tours demonstrate home living for those with limitations 

imageOlder adults and people with physical limitations will get to see how design might provide independent and quality living during tours of the Universal Design Living Laboratory, 6141 Clark State Road, from noon to 6 p.m. daily through Sunday, Nov. 23.

The self-guided audio public tours of the 3,500-square-foot ranch-style Jefferson Township home cost $10, with all proceeds benefiting spinal-cord-injury research at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

The living laboratory is the residence of Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D., an internationally known speaker and advocate for people with disabilities, and her husband, Mark Leder, the builder of the home.

The residence features universal design and was conceived and built after Rossetti was paralyzed from the waist down in 1998, when she was crushed by a large tree while riding a bicycle.

The couple worked together to rebuild their lives and build their new home with a focus on accessibility and sustainability.read the whole article….

Posted by Administrator November 18, 2014

An accessible approach to designing homes 

imageAccessible housing design is an approach to planning, building or renovating a house so that everyone who lives in or visits the home feels safe, welcome and comfortable, including seniors and people with disabilities.

There are many different types of accessible homes, each with their own unique features, floor plans and design elements. To help you decide which option is right for you, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers the following tips on some of the most popular accessible housing designs available Read Whole Article…

Posted by Administrator November 14, 2014

Next fall West Michigan will be home to a new YMCA unlike any other in the country 

imageThe entire campus is being designed using the principles of universal design, which has a center at North Carolina State University. The design is intended to allow those with temporary and permanent disabilities to remain independent and functional. This includes features such as wheelchair-comfortable turf for the softball field.

“Universal design evolved from accessible design, a design process that addresses the needs of people with disabilities. Universal design extends this concept further, recognizing the presence of a wide spectrum of human abilities and needs,” according to the Mary Free Bed YMCA website, grymca.org/mary-free-bed/overview.

“Architects and planners are designing for an aging population, special needs children, those with temporary sports injuries, those recovering from medical procedures, those with muscular skeletal diseases, and those with hearing and sight challenges,” the website says.

The Mary Free Bed Guild has worked closely with the YMCA for many years to develop a partnership that will greatly benefit both the guild’s patients and the entire community, said Kim Ridings, president of the guild.

Posted by Administrator October 31, 2014
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