Public Buildings

Accessibility advocate Rick Hansen

‘Man in Motion’ Rick Hansen says more incentives needed to design accessible buildings

Canada's Man in Motion Rick Hansen says creating a program for celebrating and certifying accessible buildings — patterned on one that certifies buildings for environmental design — could encourage building designers to create more inclusive spaces ...
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Kraemer Radiation Oncology Center; Anaheim, CA

These Hospitals Are Designed To Help You Heal Faster

The winners of the National Healthcare Design Awards show how where you get your health care can have a big effect on the outcomes ...
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elderly woman walking using a walker with younger man walking along side her

Designing for Alzheimer’s using the Goals of Universal Design

Designing meaningful environments that help people thrive is a primary objective of Universal Design.  There is a growing body of evidence-based design research that demonstrates the many benefits resulting from ...
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sidewalk area

Norway to showcase inclusive design at London Design Biennale

Norway’s contribution to London’s first Design Biennale in September is Reaching for Utopia – Inclusive Design in Practice, an exhibition of civic projects that make the case for inclusive design ...
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Pennington Student Achievement Center exterior view

Universal Design new standard in accessibility

University of Nevada, Reno's Pennington Student Achievement Center, have been built with universal design in mind. The classrooms have been set up in a way that allows everyone to see ...
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view of street with markings and people walking

Designing an Active, Healthier City

Despite a firm reputation for being walkers, New Yorkers have an obesity epidemic on their hands. Lee Altman, a former employee of New York City’sDepartment of Design and Construction, explains ...
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exterior view of music store


Accessibility should be a top priority to make Toronto a Music City. Absent from the city-council-approved Toronto Music Strategy is a plan to address the widespread inaccessibility of our live ...
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aerial view of The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan

United Nations teams up with MIT to overhaul “very top-down” refugee design strategy

UNHCR has teamed up with D-Lab, a unit at Massachusetts Institute of Technology that develops user-centred design strategies, to explore ways of empowering refugee communities ...
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man in wheelchair next to moving subway train in nyc

Disability rights groups sue MTA for excluding elevator at newly renovated Bronx subway station

The MTA is rolling over the rights of disabled people by failing to make newly renovated stations wheelchair accessible, a new class action lawsuit charges. In papers filed in Manhattan ...
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city skyline

How to Build Inclusive Cities

How do we build cities in which everyone—regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, age, or ability—can live and thrive? Unfortunately, no silver-bullet answers or cookie-cutter solutions exist. But there are ...
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How TD Bank HQ achieved WELL certification

Landlord-tenant partnership leads to world's first v1 certification under WELL standard An interiors project for TD Bank headquarters, located in the TD Centre in downtown Toronto, recently became the world’s ...
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unken terrace at Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island

New York City and Nonprofit Clash Over Accessibility of Roosevelt Memorial

Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park opened on Roosevelt Island four years ago, City Hall has been arguing with the nonprofit group that built and runs the park ...
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close up of woman arms signing

Creating Inclusive Environments with DeafSpace Architecture

The Deaf community live in a world designed for people who can hear, but a new design movement challenges how buildings should be built, where sensory experiences and interaction with ...
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wheelchair user symbol sitting in water

A day in the life of accessible design: the case of the invisible lift – Part 2

On reaching the automatic sliding glass doors at the North Entrance, you will find a call button for assistance if needed on the wall to the left of the doors ...
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sketch of stair components

A Lesson in Universal Design: How to Make Stairs Safer for All

One of the most dangerous stairs people encounter each day are the ones leading into the house from the garage. Often these are cheap, prebuilt MDF stairs that are narrow, ...
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people on walkway at Scioto Greenways

Design for Everybody

Whether it’s a corridor plan for two blocks in small-town USA or a blockbuster master plan worthy of a national award, planners have to design for all users of the ...
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view of subway riders ascending an escalator in new york's 34th street subway station

Universal Design

Level Playing Field: A group of recent projects demonstrates that true universal design goes beyond mere accessibility ...
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silhouette of a waiter and wheelchair user and table

An Open Letter to Restaurateurs and Restaurant Staff

I love eating out! I really do. Eating out lets me experience flavors, sights, and sounds from around the world. If the staff and restaurant have made for a good experience, ...
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colorful furniture and carpeting in a room designed for autism

How To Design For Autism

Problem: many autistic kids are super sensitive to the sight, sound, and feel of their environment. So when New York-Presbyterian decided to build an early intervention center for autistic children, ...
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students walking through school corridor

Improved access: Disabled, advocates see progress in public accommodations

People with disabilities and officials say Columbia is a good place to live for those with a disability, but challenges still exist and improvements are needed. Advances in technology, particularly ...
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A day in the life of accessible design: the case of the invisible lift – Part 1

The idealised format of modern living and design requires space, light and a lack of clutter in design and spatial planning. This ideal has evidently been at the forefront of ...
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rom rail to rail, there's 6 feet of clearance in the ramp, one of numerous universal design features incorporated into the new Mary Free Bed YMCA in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids YMCA is first building to adopt universal design standards

The University at Buffalo’s Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center), in collaboration with the Global Universal Design Commission (GUDC), has developed the first set of universal design ...
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people in an auditorium designed for disabilities including a wheelchair user

An auditorium specially designed for those with disabilities

Going to the movies or seeing a performance can be challenging for people with disabilities. The hard of hearing struggle to decipher speech amid background noise and reverberation, while those ...
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free school clip art public domain

Most New York City Elementary Schools Are Violating Disabilities Act, Investigation Finds

A two-year federal investigation has concluded that 83 percent of New York City’s public elementary schools are not “fully accessible” to children with disabilities, in violation of the Americans With ...
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exterior view of courtyard by marriott hotel

Hotel Centered Around Workers With Special Needs Set To Open

A first-of-its-kind, fully-functioning teaching hotel designed to provide job training and employment for people with disabilities is ready to open its doors ...
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empty hospital bed

Better by Design: Hospital architecture can help patients heal

When an architect plans a new hospital, she’s doing more than designing rooms in which doctors meet sick patients and work to make them well. She’s designing a space through ...
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people walking inside the mary free bed ymca

Mary Free Bed YMCA opens doors

West Michigan is now home to a “first-of-its-kind” YMCA. The new Mary Free Bed YMCA in Cascade Township will be the first YMCA facility in the world to receive a ...
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circular outdoor bench

Deafness, disability and design: the case of ‘Deaf Village Ireland’

I have been visiting Deaf Village Ireland regularly over the past nine months, speaking and walking through it with management, staff and users of the centre. Located in Cabra, in ...
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stairs blending in with sloped sidewalk

Should Business Care about Universal Design?

Universal design needs to cross into mainstream design to service a growing market driven by changing demographics and a socially responsible business world looking for new opportunities. Universal design has ...
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trailer with a view cut into the body, revealing interior view

Arkansas Universal Design Mobile Display

The Arkansas Universal Design Mobile Display is a Universally Designed display bathroom built inside of a trailer. The trailer can be reserved by home shows, county fairs, professional conferences, and ...
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bathroom designed for dementia

Bathroom design with dementia in mind

Dr. Birgit Dietz explains the background thoughts in the development of the age and dementia-sensitive washbasin, which she designed together with HEWI. She is a visiting lecturer in the Hospital ...
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3d model of healthcare facility

Mayo Clinic to Study the Health Effects of the Built Environment

Americans spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors—from homes to office or work environments, schools, retail stores, fitness centers, health care facilities, and more—which means exposure to indoor ...
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universal design graphic

UD: Diversity of explanations and interpretations

After spending time with Professor Ed Steinfeld, Professor Rob Imrie and Dr Kim Kullman at various events, workshops and meetings in the last three weeks, I’ve expanded my thinking about universal ...
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emergency exit stairway

Universal Design and Public Space Emergencies

Universal design has been a topic of much discussion in recent times. In fact, the Association of Consultants in Access Australia dedicated their recent national conference to the theme “Universal ...
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The ADA and Inclusion in Libraries

The history of libraries serving people with disabilities is long and distinguished. Libraries were often the first social or government institutions in many communities across the nation to recognize the ...
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people engaging in sport activities

Guide opens door to sports accessibility

Sport and Recreation Victoria has launched a new web portal to aid architects, designers and project managers to build better public places. The Design for Everyone Guide was unveiled by ...
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UB IDeA Center receives $4.6 million federal grant

The University at Buffalo’s Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center) has received a fourth round of federal funding to continue its work on a wide range of ...
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view of hospital room with text boxes inserted into photo highlighting room features

Cornell Study Shows Good Design Means Better Health Outcomes

Many health care facility owners hold the assumption, that new design and construction offer little to no financial returns. In a recent Cornell study published in Health Environments Research and ...
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interior view of mary free bed ymca

YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids Aims to Make the Mary Free Bed YMCA the First Building in the World to have Universal Design Certification

“Our community is embarking on the remarkable mission of building the first health and wellness facility in the world specifically designed to equally serve both able-bodied individuals   as well as ...
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illustration of diverse people at bus stop

Why Universal Design is Not Just ‘Access’

The term is largely attributed to the late Ronald L. Mace, former program director of The Centre for Universal Design and is said to have been coined as early as ...
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universally designed furniture being used by people with disabilities

Why Universal Design is Vital

For their biannual conference to be held later this year, the Association of Consultants in Access Australia (ACAA) have made the theme of the conference ‘Universal Design – a better ...
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elementary school in rural Buckingham, Virginia

How Smarter School Architecture Can Help Kids Eat Healthier Food

To address the growing obesity crisis among its children, a rural Virginia school had to give itself a full redesign ...
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President George H.W. Bush signing the Americans With Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990

The Americans with Disability Act at 25

When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law 25 years ago, "everybody was thinking about the iconic person in a wheelchair," says civil rights lawyer Sid Wolinsky. Or that ...
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interior view of the museum of disability history's exhibits that help create awareness and establish a platform for dialogue and discovery

Disabilities on display

Dedicated to the collection, preservation and display of artifacts that help to shine a light on the history of people with disabilities, the Museum of disABILITY History remains committed to ...
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architectural facade

Expanding the frontiers of universal design

Interior designers take accessibility beyond building code requirements | Universal design encompasses much more than physical accessibility. It means creating spaces that are meaningful to their diverse users, it means ...
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aerial view of Fuji Kindergarten in Tokyo

Inside the world’s best kindergarten

At Fuji Kindergarten outside Tokyo, kids make the most of a magical environment designed just for them. The roof of their oval-shaped school, designed by Tokyo-based firm Tezuka Architects, is ...
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exterior view of playground at Australia’s Northern School for Autism

‘Design empathy’ builds inclusive spaces for people with autism

Fluorescent lights. A wall painted bright yellow. A smoke detector that keeps beeping through a meeting. These are things that you might encounter in an office or a classroom without ...
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ramp inside ed roberts campus building

The Substantive Impact of Universal Design

If you stare at the periodic table long enough, you find your element — a scientifically natural state of comfort, ease and exemplarity. Your math lecture, her running track, his ...
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woman in wheelchair entering a doorway

From the community: Removing Barriers and Transforming Lives At The Center for Enriched Living

What seemed like a dream not too long ago is now becoming a reality. The Center for Enriched Living (CEL) is literally Opening the Doors for people with developmental disabilities ...
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person walking in a hallway with others siting the background
Recreation: A younger gentleman walking with an older man in the park
Public Buildings: aerial view of city buildings
Streets: people crossing an intersection
Housing: exterior view of a suburban house
Transportation: close up of dangling handles on a bus