Categories
Education

Smart Home Technology

There are several “smart” devices that improve the functionality and safety of a home. They’re great options for universal design.

012: Social distancing, isolation, and mental health

Our thoughts: Social distancing is now mandatory in the US due to COVID-19, but some people with disabilities experience social isolation every day.

011: Are “stramps” universally designed?

We discuss how the internet isn’t always accurate in the description of universal design, and what our Design Advisors thought of this ramp/stair design.

010: When you question if that backyard party is worth it or not

A backyard party at someone’s home turns from excitement to heartbreak when you have to question if you can attend the due to inaccessibility.

009: Benefits of a Well-Designed Garden

Sarah discusses how her friend increased the functionality of her garden by using raised garden beds and how an outdoor space improves mental health.

Categories
Journal

Renovations are costly…

Implementing accessibility at the start of a new design project will save you time and money.

008: Research about interprofessional design

We discuss 3 themes from a peer-reviewed article: form versus function, the earlier the better, and universal design as a specialist area.

007: Do no-step entrances matter?

Of course they do. We’re talking about universal design! Listen to Julie & Jackson’s story. You’ll learn about what they have to do just to visit family or friends.

Categories
Advocacy

Occupational Therapy and Our Role in Housing

This article unpacks three practice settings in which an an occupational therapist could collaborate with professionals in the home building industry.

Categories
Journal

The Blueprints of My Doctoral Project

Kati briefly explains the OT profession and introduces her doctoral capstone project.

006: Mail & Macular Degeneration

Kati recounts a story about a patient who broke a hip and had struggles with a common yet meaningful task.

005: Small garages don’t work well.

Sarah shares a story & some thoughts about the functionality of parking areas. It’s the little things that make a big difference for universal design!

Categories
Advocacy

Different has to be experienced.

We run The Universal Design Project on software called Basecamp. The company that created Basecamp is on the verge of releasing a new email system called Hey. What’s interesting about this is that they’re declaring email “broken” and are more or less redesigning the way people interact with email. Here’s a recent tweet from their […]

Categories
Advocacy

There’s a 60% Probability…

“In the United States of America, it has been estimated that there is a 60% probability that any new house will be occupied by a person with a functional impairment over its life span.” Smith SK, Rayer S, Smith EA. Aging and disability: implications for the housing industry and housing policy in the United States. […]

Categories
Advocacy

Prevalence of Accessible Housing in the U.S.

The United States has an accessible housing problem: there aren’t enough available options.

Categories
Journal

Designing a “Good Fit” For All People

Universal design must enable people to be independent in daily tasks when human impairments are present.

004: Invisible Disabilities & Universal Design

Sarah and Kati talk about various universal design features to increase function for those living with invisible disabilities.

Categories
Design Projects

Results from student-led design exercises

Check out some drawings, 3D renders, and a floor plan of a universally designed home.

Categories
Journal

Takeaways from a universal design exercise

The process of universal design needs to be collaborative, but collaboration is challenging.

003: Reflections on patients and their homes

Sarah talks with Kati about discharge scenarios and what home modifications looked like for their patients.

002: PEO Model & Collaboration

Design can create a “good fit,” or a “poor fit.” One of the models we use is the Person-Environment-Occupation (PEO) model of Occupational Performance.

001: Mission & Vision

Welcome to the first episode of the Good Fit Poor Fit podcast! Learn more about The Universal Design Project and what got us to where we are today.

Categories
Journal

Kati’s Story: Multigenerational Needs for Universal Design

Kati discusses how a universally designed home would have improved her family’s function after multiple health events.

Categories
Journal

My journey into a non-traditional Occupational Therapy job

There are many areas of practice in OT. Here’s my story.

Categories
Advocacy

Bias is an enemy.

The first phrase of the definition of universal design is “design that’s usable by all people.” It’s easy to think, “cool, that just means everyone,” which is true, but that’s also a really complex idea. Ensuring usability across the entire spectrum of people in our society is no simple task. Here at The Universal Design Project, we focus on people […]

Categories
Education

The PEO Model of Occupational Performance and Universal Design.

The Person-Environment-Occupation (PEO) Model of Occupational Performance comes from the field of occupational therapy and helps identify the relationships between a person, an environment, and occupations (activities). These relationships support and enhance a person’s ability (Law et al, 1996); interestingly, that’s what universal design is all about. The relationship between each helps us understand the quality of occupational performance (i.e., function) that […]

Categories
Education

Accessible design vs. universal design (& more)

Despite universal design being a “thing” since the 1980s, there is still widespread confusion about it today, which we believe is largely due to people not fully understanding the depth of what it means.

Categories
Advocacy Education

Universal design & its connection to disability

Universal design is often described as “design for all ages and abilities,” but what does that really mean? It’s gaining popularity every day, partially because of the size of the baby boomer generation, and partially because of society’s increasing interest in being inclusive to people with disabilities. What is universal design? Design that’s usable by […]

Categories
Advocacy

Exclusive “interview” with the late Ron Mace

Ron Mace is credited with coining the term “universal design.” This is a fictional interview that might be what we’d expect if he were still alive.

Categories
Advocacy

Universal design: why it’s about time

A sense of urgency is felt when someone declares “it’s about time!” We feel that way about the need to make our communities more welcoming to people affected by disability. When the design of something doesn’t work for someone, that person either gets excluded or has to struggle unnecessarily. It’s time for that to change. […]