Universal Design in Newfoundland & Labrador
Universal Design NL Launches Interactive Tool, Promotes Inclusive Communities
In Spring 2017, the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities NL, in partnership with the Disability Policy Office (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador) and the Universal Design NL Taskforce, officially launched a new website and interactive tool to promote building more inclusive communities through the adoption of universal design.
UniversalDesignNL.ca allows users to engage in an interactive home and view helpful tips and guidelines for making building designs more universal. Each room of the interactive home features “hotspots” informing users about ways to make their space inclusive of all visitors. The site is a useful resource for builders, home owners and society, as Universal Design continues to be a new, global standard for public spaces. An everyday example of universal design would be level entry building entrances, which welcome all users, whether they’re pushing a baby stroller or using a wheelchair.
Emily Christy, Executive Director of the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities, explained, “Universal design is about designing for everyone. It’s a way of creating environments and products that are usable for all people, regardless of age or ability. More importantly, it helps build inclusive communities by removing barriers and stigmas, therefore serving everyone.” She continued, “We want to see universal design become the default for all new builds and retrofits in this province so that all people are enabled to fully engage in community life.”
To gain a better understanding of universal design and how individuals, businesses and society can benefit from its use, visit www.UniversalDesignNL.ca.