Small Steps to Take to Embrace Universal Design And Make Your Office More Inclusive

by Jan 23, 2023

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Universal Design (UD) is becoming more popular as people realize this way of designing doesn’t just benefit those with disabilities; it also helps create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. The goal is to make spaces usable by everyone without the need for adaptations or specialized design. 

Universal Design in Action

Transitioning your office into a more inclusive space doesn’t necessarily require monumental changes. If a complete redesign is out of reach, you can still create an inviting environment for all by implementing some basic UD principles. Small changes will go a long way toward ensuring everyone feels welcome and respected when they go to work. 

Even if you start small and build up as you go, there are plenty of UD strategies to adopt to make your office more accessible for all: 

  • Upgrade light switches: Traditional toggle switches can be difficult to use for people with dexterity impairments – or even someone entering a room with an armful of files. Rocker switches and motion-sensing light switches are much easier to operate.
  • Create a minimal transition between flooring surfaces: Uneven flooring can be challenging for some people to navigate. Integrating gradual transitions can make it easier for wheelchair users to get around, as well as someone pushing a cart full of office supplies.
  • Accommodate different heights: Height-adjustable desks and counters that accommodate different heights can make it easier for everyone to work, whether standing or sitting.
  • Start a conversation: Talking about accessibility and UD should become a more intentional part of the design process. Once it’s been addressed, it will be easier to recognize the potential benefits of incorporating Universal Design principles into your office space.

By considering the needs of everyone and adopting some basic Universal Design principles, you can create a space where people feel seen, heard, respected, and welcomed. If you’re ready to create an inclusive and accessible space for all, reach out to my team and me. We can evaluate your situation and provide tips to help you design a space where everyone can thrive.

Andrew D. Houghton

Andrew D. Houghton

President, Disability Inclusion Solutions

Nationally Recognized Accessibility Expert. Creating Innovative Disability Inclusion Solutions. Certified DOBE.

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