Top of page
Accessibility

New Universal Design Guide Aims to Make Public Spaces Accessible

Accessible road crossing in Hawaii

Washington, D.C. – The American Society of Landscape Architects published a Guide to Universal Design. Everyone navigates the built environment differently, with abilities changing across a person’s lifespan. One billion people, or 15 percent of the global population, experience some form of disability. The global population of people over 65 years of age is expected to double by 2050, totaling 1.6 billion people. Universal design means that everyone, regardless of ability or age, can access and participate in public life.

ASLA’s guide provides a comprehensive view of which communities are underserved by the built environment. It also offers a set of new universal design principles that address the needs of deaf or hard of hearing, blind or low vision, autistic, neurodevelopmentally and/or intellectually disabled, and mobility-disabled adults and children, as well as concerns for older adults. These include: accessible, comfortable, participatory, ecological, legible, multi-sensory, predictable, and walkable/traversable.

“This guide serves as an entry point into Universal Design, asking designers to assess our existing design models and projects, and to include disabled folks as stakeholders and experts in the design process,” said Alexa Vaughn, Associate ASLA, a landscape designer at OLIN. “As a Deaf landscape designer, I am elated that landscape architects, designers, planners, elected officials, and beyond have started to think about Universal Design.”

Landscape architects, urban planners, elected officials, and community advocates can implement these real-world solutions in their communities to ensure that the built environment is accessible to all.

 

You might also like

Two reporters getting ready to broadcast news in SL Two reporters getting ready to broadcast news in SL

Ugandan woman launches online TV for people with hearing disabilities

When Susan Mujawa Ananda heard a man with a hearing…

Woman in wheelchair using a smartphone while out in the city Woman in wheelchair using a smartphone while out in the city

Columbus, Ohio launches new city guide for travelers with disabilities

The city of Columbus, Ohio announced a new city guide for…

Braille Printer Braille Printer

Texas A&M team translates thousands of pages of math into Braille

When Texas A&M University Mathematics Lecturer Vanessa Coffelt wanted to…

Disabled woman in wheelchair with assistant walking in garden Disabled woman in wheelchair with assistant walking in garden

Accessible nature guide now available

Council has developed a guide of accessible bushland, reserves and…