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Universal Access:

Universal access, sometimes also referred to as universal accessibility or universal design is the ethos by which Access For All carries out its work and activities. Universal design is defined in the Irish Disability Act 2005 as:

“Universal design refers to the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people, regardless of their age, size or disability”

Universal access as a school of thought operates from the position that historically people with disabilities have been designed out of the built environment and that this has and continues to contribute to their daily exclusion from society. Put simply – good design enables people; bad design disables people.

Universal access continues to influence national policy and the work of local groups like Access For All. Good progress has been made in Ireland in recent years with the introduction of the Disability Act 2005 and the recent establishment of the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design under the auspices of the National Disability Authority.

To learn more about universal access and universal design see the following websites:

National Disability Authority (NDA) - www.nda.ie

Centre for Accessible Environments – www.cae.org.uk

Design For All Europe – www.designforalleurope.org

Adaptive Environments – www.adaptiveenvironments.org