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Considerations for Special Needs Users Universal Design.

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Presentation on theme: "Considerations for Special Needs Users Universal Design."— Presentation transcript:

1 Considerations for Special Needs Users Universal Design


3 What is it? Universal Design implies that well-planned designs will meet the needs of every user without drawing attention to persons with disabilities. Ramps Door openings Door handles Counter heights

4 Legislation Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Became law in January 1992 Eliminates discrimination caused by the imposition of barriers restricting persons with disabilities Disabilities protected: Difficulties or limitations walking, hearing, seeing or using their hands

5 ADA Not necessary to tear down existing structures with steps New planning and design is to be universal When universal design is impossible, accessibility is imperative In our homes the choice is still ours, but in public, accessibility is the law.


7 Accessible Design Accessibility is the law in nonresidential design It is optional in design for single-family homes Its remarkable that home designs rarely planned accordingly, given that we may all encounter some form of impairment at some point in our lives

8 Barrier-Free Design Entrances level or accessed by gentle slopes Garage level with the utility entrance Doorways wide enough for wheelchair passage Bathrooms large enough to maneuver a wheelchair Grab bars in bathrooms

9 Floor Plan

10 Design for Motion Impairments Persons using canes, walkers, crutches or wheelchairs Also includes those with loss of ability to use hands

11 Steps and Ramps Minimum slope for ramps is a rise of 1 foot for every 12 feet Steps should not have protruding nosing that will catch toes of shoes (those with braces, stiff legs, etc) Ramps and steps should be well lit Handrails to be 34 – 38 inches above Specific size and grip requirements

12 Passage and Turning 32 – 36 inches at doorways; 36 inches in passages 60 inches for a wheelchair to turn 180 degrees Clear floor space is 30 by 48 inches Lever-type handles instead of round Floors should have a flat, nonskid surface Change in floor depth greater than ½-inch forms a barrier

13 Door Handle

14 Kitchens Countertop heights of 28, 32 and 36, with maximum dept of 24 inches Upper cabinets adjustable to several heights. 8 inches above counter is minimum Handles on upper cabinets should be mounted a maximum of 48 inches from floor Leave space under counter, especially at sink, hot water pipes insulated

15 Kitchens Pull out trays Wall mounted ovens and microwaves Cooktops with staggered burners Controls for cooktops should be front mounted

16 Kitchens

17 Kitchen with Movable Sink


19 Kitchen Cabinets

20 Bathrooms Grab bars Ability to turn the wheelchair around Shower controls mounted no higher than 32 inches No cabinet under sink Vanity mirrors mounted low enough for use by someone who is seated

21 Bathrooms



24 Bedrooms Mattress height equal to height of wheelchair 60 x 60 in clearance between door and bed or storage and bed

25 Closets Bifold or sliding doors Rods mounted 45 to 54 inches high Slide-out shelves

26 Around the House Electrical outlets 27 to 28 inches about floor Electrical switches 36 inches above the floor Drawer pulls D-Shaped Windowsills set at a maximum of 36 inches to make windows accessible Crank opening windows

27 Around the House


29 Hearing Impaired Carpet and fabric wall coverings reduce noise reverberation Good lighting for manual communication and lip-reading Furniture arranged in a semi-circle or U-shaped facilitates signing and lip-reading Round dining table is better due to clear sight lines

30 Hearing Impaired Visual signals such as flashing lights provide visual cues Phone, doorbell, alarm clock, fire/smoke alarms, crying babies Special phone systems – TDD – screen and keyboard

31 Visual Impairment Blind need tactile cues Door handles, curbs, landings Handrails extend beyond the landing, go floor to floor continuously Braille within the signage Audible signals at crosswalks, in elevators and emergency systems Gas cooktops (gas makes a sound as it burns)

32 Visual Impairment Hooks next to electrical outlets to hang the plug Furniture with rounded edges Unobstructed walking space

33 Design for the Elderly Visual contrast is important in judging space and distance Countertop light or dark in contrast with the floor, this helps with depth perception Color coding of areas or floors may be helpful

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