What is the difference between ADA and Universal Design

Last week I spent a full day in seminars on Universal Design at the new Daltile Showroom.     Most of us are familiar with ADA which is American with Disabilities Act mandated by the Federal Government. This was established with persons with physical disabilities, i.e, wheelchairs, vision impaired to be able to maintain their livelihoods in the workplace.

Universal design takes it further – universal design is for everyone – design should NOT be limited to a handful.    I as a designer I believe that without function or need to everyone there is no GOOD design.    A pretty room alone does not offer GOOD DESIGN.

                                              Here are some food for thought when considering your workplace or your home –

                                                                                             Is it comfortable.

                                                                   Is there quality and clarity in both product and intent of use.

                                                                                            Is there a sense of security.

                                             Here are some ideas that were discussed that may be helpful –

                                                                  Drawers are more useful and adaptable than doors

                                                                  Eliminate sharp edges at corners or turn points

                                                                  Use of Contrast in finishes – especially at counter edges.


                                        Lets all think about how we can all enjoy and reap the benefits of GOOD DESIGN.

I would be happy to discuss this important element in design with you – reach out to me to continue the dialogue.


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