Think of any location that you have the ability visit to in-person. Restaurants, shops, hotels, and countless other locations of business are obvious, but consider private homes (e.g., those of family & friends), or natural spaces like state parks or national forests that may have “accessible” features, but are much more limited. When accessibility is an issue, those places become less “welcoming” to guests with less-than-perfect abilities. If assistance is needed, independence is thwarted and safety is likely compromised.
Often the community isn’t set up to be as accommodating as someone’s home.Often the community isn’t set up to be as accommodating as someone’s home. By translating these concepts of universal design into the community, it’s safe to say that more individuals with less-than-perfect ability levels will feel confident in leaving the security of their home and participate in life outside of the safety of home. Being involved in the community creates increased independence, increased confidence, hope, and a desire to focus more on life as a whole versus assumed limitations.
Taking the concept of universal design into the community doesn’t come without challenges. There isn’t one perfect way to fully meet everyone’s needs. Creating an impartial design that allows a variety of people to participate gives the general population a way to be involved in their communities without fear of getting caught in a situation that is difficult and/or unsafe.[bookpagefooter]