Universal Design in Residential Housing
Since accessibility codes are not enforced during the remodel or new build of a residential house, what is the best approach when designing space for an individual with special needs? Our approach to residential accessibility is centered on Universal Design. The term “Universal Design” refers to designs and features that make housing usable by people with a wide variety of abilities. Tall or short, left or right-handed, ambulatory or an individual who uses a wheelchair; the goal is universal usability by all users. Some accidentally mistake Universal Design for a code. It’s not a code. It’s a concept based on seven principles that when applied to a design, is usable to the greatest extent possible by all types of people (Centre for Excellence in Universal Design).