|Description:||The woman picture here, was seated in her wheelchair, and had boarded an elevator in a highly-accessible building on one of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Atlanta, Georgia campuses. She was in the process of pressing the desired floor where she was to conduct her business. Note the height at which the selection, and emergency buttons were situated, making them universally-accessible for all passengers.|
Universal design, as defined by the National Endowment for the Arts, goes beyond the mere provision of special features for various segments of the population. Instead, universal design emphasizes a creative approach that is more inclusive -- one that asks at the outset of the design process how a product, graphic communication, building, or landscape can be made both aesthetically pleasing and functional for the greatest number of users. Designs resulting from this approach are more likely to serve a wider array of people: individuals who have temporary disabilities, people who have permanent disabilities, and everyone whose abilities change with age.