Universal Design is for All, Not Just Seniors

Filed in 55+ Housing, Design by on May 27, 2014 0 Comments

hanlde“Universal design (UD) has been around for more than 30 years, but often has negative connotation associated with growing old and having a disability,” writes Debra Young, a one-time occupational therapist who now designs and consults with builders on making homes more accessable.  “The knee-jerk reaction,” she says, is,’That’s not for me,’ or ‘My buyers don’t need it,’ or ‘They won’t buy that yet.'”

In a story written for the Winter Issue of NAHB’s 50+ Housing online magazine, Young talks about a former football player she met on a plane.

“I asked him to show me the palm of his hand, which seemed bear-paw size. I put my hand next to his and said, “When I compare our hands, I wonder — how do you hit the buttons on your cell phone?

“I wondered out loud about how using his hands to grasp, manipulate, turn and twist everyday objects must be a very different experience for him than for me. We talked about how he experienced spaces and environments compared to my experience. I could see his “aha” moment,” she says.

Learn how Young makes her point by reading the whole story. Talk to Ann Marie Moriarty about subscribing.

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