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DESIGN OBJECTIVES Acce ssib le Hist o ry o f Acce ssib le B uild ing D e sig n Pro vid e Eq ual Acce ss Plan f o r Fle xib ilit y: B e Pro act ive





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Flexible design principles include spaces that:

Funct io nal / O p e rat io nal Hist o ric Pre se rvat io n Pro d uct ive






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by the WBDG Accessible Committee Last updated: 11-03-2010

During the early stages o f develo ping a building, when the planning, pro gramming, and co ncept design are being shaped Relevant Codes and Standards and mo lded, there may be many go als. An o wner may talk abo ut the ultimate design pro viding a "user-friendly wo rk enviro nment" Major Resources and "future flexibility." What exactly do es this mean? Physically, these co ncepts are demo nstrated with spaces that can be easily mo dified and that can serve a variety o f purpo ses fo r a diverse gro up o f users. See also WBDG Pro ductive and WBDG Functio nal.

Ae st he t ics



Plan f or Flexibility: Be Proactive



Assessment Tools for Accessibility Electric Lighting Controls Form Playground Design and Equipment VIEW ALL RELAT ED (7 ) VIEW RESO URCE PAG E INDEX

are easy to mo dify (See also WBDG Pro ductive —Design fo r the Changing Wo rkplace.) can serve multiple uses and/o r users (See also WBDG Functio nal—Acco unt fo r Functio nal Needs .) acco mmo date future techno lo gies (See also WBDG Pro ductive—Integrate Techno lo gical To o ls) and are life-cycle co st-effective. Flexibility in accessible design manifests in the co ncepts o f Universal Design and Visitability described belo w.

Universal Design and Visit abilit y In accessible design, "flexibility" manifests in the co ncepts o f Universal Design and Visitability described belo w. Universal Design advo cates addressing human needs within the mainstream o f building and pro duct design.


Many o f the design features that are user-friendly and flexible are simply go o d design practices, rather than requirements o f a building co de o r accessibility standard o r guideline. Acco rding to the Center fo r Universal Design at No rth Caro lina State University, the intent o f universal design is to simplify life fo r everyo ne by making pro ducts, co mmunicatio ns, and the built enviro nment mo re usable by as many peo ple as po ssible at little o r no extra co st. Universal Design benefits peo ple o f all ages and abilities.

This grade level building entrance

utiliz es universal design principles. As such, o ne sho uld no te that pro viding Universal Design Student Union, University of features in a building do es no t necessarily mean that o ne Ariz ona—Tucson, AZ has co mplied with the legal and regulato ry accessibility criteria, including tho se co ntained in the UFAS and ADAAG. These ideas must no t be used interchangeably. Universal design co ncepts develo ped o ver the years pro mo te enviro nments, building co mpo nents, and features designed to be "usable by all peo ple, to the greatest extent po ssible, witho ut the need fo r adaptatio n, specialized design, o r significant additio nal co st." (Mace)

The Center fo r Universal Design at No rth Caro lina State University defines Universal Design principles to include: Equitable Use Flexibility in Use Simple and Intuitive Perceptible Info rmatio n To lerance fo r Erro r Lo w Physical Effo rt Size and Space fo r Appro ach and Use Š1997 NC State University, The Center for Universal Design

These seven principles may be applied to evaluate existing designs; guide the design pro cess; and educate bo th designers and co nsumers abo ut the characteristics o f mo re usable pro ducts and enviro nments. The Center fo r Universal Design pro vides a co mprehensive list o f reso urces o n their website. Visitability

The campus master plan at Carnegie Mellon University incorporates the principle that " All improvements to the physical environment shall adhere to the concept of universal design."

Visitability, a mo vement started by Atlanta-based Co ncrete Change, refers to including basic barrier-free features in single-family ho mes so that they can be visited by relatives, friends, and o thers who may have disabilities. Visito rs with a disability can enter the ho me thro ugh an accessible entrance o n an accessible ro ute; easily nego tiate spaces and hallways; and enter and use the bathro o m. A visitable ho me includes a zero -step entry,

inch clear width at user passage do o rs, and a bathro o m o r po wder ro o m o n the entrance level. Ro utes thro ugh visit-able ho mes sho uld also be a minimum o f 36 inches wide. An Additional Benefit of Flexibility: Life-Cycle Cost-Effectiveness Studies have sho wn that the additio nal co st o f pro viding many accessible features in new co nstructio n is minimal when co mpared to adding accessible features during alteratio ns to existing co nstructio n. Features and systems that co ntribute to greater usability in the future sho uld be integrated into the design at the o nset o f the pro ject. Fo r example, acco rding to Co ncrete Change, o n average and depending o n the type o f fo undatio n, it co sts appro ximately $150 extra fo r a zero -step entrance when it is included at the time o f design and co nstructio n. Mo dificatio ns to achieve a zero -step entry to an existing ho me co uld co st at least $1,0 0 0 o r mo re. Design and analysis to o ls can be used during the design pro cess to evaluate the benefits o f pro viding accessible design features and pro ducts. See also WBDG Life-Cycle Co st Analysis (LCCA) and Assessment To o ls fo r Accessibility .

Mat erials and Met hods The U.S. Access Bo ard's guidelines fo r accessible buildings and facilities, including tho se issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), reco gnize co nventio nal industry to lerances fo r field co nditio ns. The Bo ard receives many inquiries fro m design, co nstructio n, and co de pro fessio nals o n what to lerances are co nsidered acceptable fo r vario us materials and assemblies. This pro ject, which is being co nducted by Architectural Research Co nsulting, Inc., will develo p a bulletin o n to lerances identified by industry. As part o f this pro ject, a wo rksho p was held that bro ught to gether representatives o f design and co nstructio n industry o rganizatio ns to validate the Bo ard's appro ach. Fo r mo re info rmatio n see: Wo rksho p Summary and Presented Papers.

The workshop, held on March 16th, focused on tolerances for surface flatness, smoothness and slope. Source: U.S. Access Board


RELEVANT CODES AND STANDARDS Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) ANSI A117.1 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Fair Ho using Accessibility Guidelines Rehabilitatio n Act

Unifo rm Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS) BACK TO TO P

MAJOR RESOURCES The majo r reso urce fo r guidance o n accessible design is the U.S. Access Bo ard (Access Bo ard). The Access Bo ard is an independent federal agency devo ted to accessibility fo r peo ple with disabilities. Key respo nsibilities o f the Bo ard include develo ping and maintaining accessibility requirements fo r the built enviro nment, transit vehicles, teleco mmunicatio ns equipment, and electro nic and info rmatio n techno lo gy; pro viding technical assistance and training o n these guidelines and standards; and enfo rcing accessibility standards fo r federally funded facilities. Fo r additio nal reso urces, see the Access Bo ard's Links Page.

WBDG Design Objectives Co st-Effective, Functio nal / Operatio nal—Acco unt fo r Functio nal Needs , Histo ric—Co mply with Accessibility Requirements, Pro ductive—Integrate Techno lo gical To o ls, Pro ductive—Design fo r the Changing Wo rkplace, Sustainable

Organiz at ions and Associat ions American Asso ciatio n o f Retired Perso ns (AARP) —A no npro fit membership o rganizatio n dedicated to addressing the needs and interests o f perso ns 50 and o lder. Thro ugh info rmatio n and educatio n, advo cacy and service, AARP enhances the quality o f life fo r all by pro mo ting independence, dignity, and purpo se. Amo ng o ther things, AARP seeks to pro mo te independent living and aging-in-place. Center fo r Inclusive Design and Enviro nmental Access (IDEA) —Scho o l o f Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo , Buffalo , NY—The Center is dedicated to impro ving the design o f enviro nments and pro ducts by making them mo re usable, safer, and appealing to peo ple with a wide range o f abilities, thro ugho ut their life spans. Center fo r Universal Design —A natio nal research, info rmatio n, and technical assistance center that evaluates, develo ps, and pro mo tes universal design in ho using, public and co mmercial facilities, and related pro ducts. They have an extensive publicatio ns list including material o n many aspects o f accessible and universal design, as well as slide sho ws and video tapes to supplement print reso urces. Co ncrete Change—An Atlanta-based o rganizatio n that started the visit-ability mo vement. Co ncrete Change is dedicated to pro mo ting visit-ability in all single-family ho mes acro ss the U.S. As a result o f its advo cacy, visit-ability legislatio n in several cities and to wns acro ss the U.S. requires that single-family ho mes inco rpo rate basic barrier-free design. Institute fo r Human-Centered Design —The Institute fo r Human Centered Design (IHCD), fo unded in Bo sto n in 19 78 as Adaptive Enviro nments, is an internatio nal no n-go vernmental educatio nal o rganizatio n (NGO) co mmitted to advancing the ro le o f design in expanding

o ppo rtunity and enhancing experience fo r peo ple o f all ages and abilities thro ugh excellence in design. IHCD's wo rk balances expertise in legally required accessibility with pro mo tio n o f best practices in human-centered o r universal design.

Federal Agencies Department o f Ho using and Urban Develo pment (HUD) Office o f Fair Ho using and Equal Oppo rtunity (FHEO)—HUD enfo rces the Fair Ho using Act and has issued guidelines under this law (the Fair Ho using Accessibility Guidelines ) which co ver multi-family ho using. Info rmatio n is also available o n ho w to file a co mplaint with HUD under the Fair Ho using Act. HUD's website also addresses access under Sectio n 50 4 o f the Rehabilitatio n Act . Department o f Justice (DOJ) —DOJ o ffers technical assistance o n the ADA Standards fo r Accessible Design and o ther ADA pro visio ns applying to public acco mmo datio ns and co mmercial facilities, including businesses, no npro fit service agencies, and state and lo cal go vernment pro grams and services; also pro vides info rmatio n o n ho w to file ADA co mplaints. Many o f its technical assistance letters are available o nline. ADA Info rmatio n Line fo r do cuments, questio ns, and referrals: (8 0 0 ) 514-0 30 1 (vo ice) (8 0 0 ) 514-0 38 3 (TTY) Department o f Veterans Affairs (VA)— Accessibility Pro gram General Services Administratio n (GSA)—Natio nal Accessibility Pro gram U.S. Access Bo ard U.S. Air Fo rce— Air Fo rce Center o f Expertise fo r Accessibility U.S. Army—TI 800-01 Design Criteria, Chapter 7, Provision for Individuals with Physical Disabilities, Section 4, 20 July 19 9 8 . U.S. Navy—NAVFAC PDPS 94-01, Barrier Free Design Accessibility Requirements , 26 May 19 9 4 (Revised 1 June 19 9 7). U.S. Park Service U.S. Department o f Transpo rtatio n U.S. Po stal Service

Publicat ions The 1995 Accessible Building Product Guide by Jo hn P.S. Salmen and Julie QuarvePeterso n. New Yo rk, NY: Jo hn Wiley & So ns, Inc., 19 9 5. Access by Design by Geo rge A. Co vingto n and Bruce Hannah. New Yo rk, NY: Jo hn Wiley & So ns, Inc., 19 9 6 . The Accessibility Checklist—User's Guide by Susan Go ltsman, ASLA, Timo thy A. Gilbert, ASLA and Wo hlfo rd, Steven D. Berkeley, CA: MIG Co mmunicatio ns, 19 9 2. The Accessible Housing Design File by Barrier Free Enviro nments, Inc. New Yo rk, NY: Jo hn Wiley & So ns, Inc., 20 10 . The ADA Answer Book by Building Owners and Managers Asso ciatio n Internatio nal (BOMA). 19 9 2.

Mechanical Lift Analysis (Accessibility Method for Accommodation of Physically Disabled People in the U.S. Courthouse Courtrooms) The Principles of Universal Design, Version 2.0 by The Center fo r Universal Design. No rth Caro lina State University: 0 1 Apr 19 9 7. Universal Design Handbook by Wo lfgang F.E. Preiser and Elaine Ostro ff. New Yo rk, NY: McGraw-Hill Co mpanies, 20 0 1. BACK TO TO P

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