Universal Design is the framework for creative solutions.
Once we begin to visualize the ADA in terms of Universal Design which proposes that if buildings, products and services or just about anything else in our society is designed with all users in mind, including the more than 54 million Americans with disabilities, only then will we realize that everyone benefits.
Universal Design is a worldwide movement that approaches the design of the environment, products, and communications with the widest range of users in mind. Known elsewhere in the world as design for all, life span design, and inclusive design the philosophy of Universal Design dates back three decades to the U.S. disability rights movement and its seven governing principles, which call for designed environments that are equitable, flexible, intuitive, perceptible, safe, easy, and accommodating, were crafted during the past decade.
The accessibility laws focus on people within a narrow range of specific disabilities, such as those who use wheelchairs or have visual or hearing impairments while Universal design comes from incorporating these guiding principles into the planning process.
There are no specific goals to achieve; there is instead a framework for creating solutions.