Universal Design - Building for Accessibility

Denise Attaway  |  9/14/2007 12:05:51 AM

Universal design means creating spaces that meet the needs of all people, young and old, abled and disabled. From the arrangement of the rooms to the choice of colors, many details go into the creation of accessible spaces. Some general guidelines are listed below.

Designing Accessible Spaces

  • Allow enough floor space to accommodate a stationary wheelchair and also enough room for a smooth U-turn: at least 78 inches by 60 inches.
  • Include tables or counters at a variety of heights to accommodate standing, seating and a range of different tasks.
  • Provide shelves and a medicine cabinet that can be reached by persons seated in a wheel chair.
  • Make sure entry doors to rooms are at least 32 inches wide.
  • Mount bathroom sinks no higher than 34 inches from the floor.
  • Install grab bars in the shower and beside the toilet.
  • Provide a full-length mirror that can be viewed by all people, including children.
  • Avoid shag carpets, uneven brick floors and other floor surfaces that could pose slipping and tripping hazards.

Source: Jackie Craven, author of The Healthy Home and The Stress-Free Home.

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