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Universal design

What is universal design?

Universal design begins with studying overlooked communities. It is basically the human-centred design of everything with everyone in mind.

By taking a human-centred design approach and learning about how different groups adapt to the world, we can create better participation products for everyone.

The sporting spaces in which we interact are inclusive or exclusive by design. By universally designing participation products we can make our sports better for everyone.

For example, when we design participation products and experiences using our own abilities and biases as a starting point (i.e. a specific age, language ability, physical ability, access to money, time and social network) we end up with products that work for us, but exclude everyone else. Each design feature determines who can interact with the product/activity/program and who is left out.

“We all experience exclusion in our lives. Places where we don’t fit. Mismatches between us and a product or environment. Even if it’s temporary, situational, or simply the progression of aging, we each face barriers to participating as we move through the world”.

Kat Holmes

Inclusive facilities

Inclusive facility design takes into account:

  • inclusivity for people with disabilities
  • inclusivity for families
  • inclusivity for transgender and non-binary people
  • increased privacy and safety
  • increased efficiency.
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