Universal Design is inclusive. That is, it describes products and
built environments that can be accessed, understood, and used, to the greatest extent possible, by all people regardless of their age, size, ability, or status in life.
At the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina University College of Design,
in 1997, the late Ronald Mace, along with a group of architects, designers, engineers, and researchers, lead the way in defining the 7 Principles of Universal Design. They are:
1. Equitable Use - The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.
2. Flexibility in Use - The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences.
3. Simple and Intuitive Use - Use of design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills or current concentration level.
4. Perceptible Information - The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities.
5. Tolerance for Error - The design minimizes hazards in the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
6. Low Physical Effort - The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.
7. Size and Space for Approach and Use - Appropriate size and space are provided for approach, reach, manipulation and use regardless of the user's body size, posture or mobility.