Seniors and Disables

Design categories for Seniors and Disables

Universal Design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.

  • Equitable Use: The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.
  • Flexibility in Use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
  • Simple and Intuitive Use: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.
  • Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.
  • Tolerance for Error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
  • Low Physical Effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.
  • Size and Space for Approach and Use: Appropriate size and space are provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user’s body size, posture, or mobility.

Adaptable design addresses problems of individual differences and changes in capability over time. Adaptability has been a longtime component of many commercial and industrial designs.

Accessible design incorporates many of the principles of Universal Design; however, as accessibility applies to a residence, it addresses the needs of the individual with a disability, but doesn’t carry the obligation for market appeal.

Visitable Design refers to a minimum level of accessibility that allows a person using a wheelchair basic access to the ground floor of a home.


Livable Design is a broader approach to visitability where it is extended to an accessible bedroom and full bathroom.

  • Entry features focus on thresholds, approach, weather protection and circulation.
  • Bedroom location and design offer visitors a convenient and comfortable place to retreat.
  • Bathroom criteria focus on shower design, circulation space and reinforcement to offer convenience and ease as well as the capability for future adaptability.
  • Kitchen features offer improved convenience and functionality in the heart of the home by adding circulation space and flexible work surfaces.
  • Doorways and hallways are wider to address clearances and circulation.
  • Stairs are designed, by incorporating specific dimensions and features, to give peace of mind to those living in multilevel homes.

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