Universal DesignGeneralIf products and services are designed so that they cater for a diverse community, then they can reach a much wider audience. Our community is diverse with young and old, people with disabilities, and people from different backgrounds speaking a variety of languages.
The ‘disability dichotomy’ is a mindset where there are standard products and then there are assistive technologies and products for disabled people. Universal Design is a set of principles that help us to find a middle ground where we design as inclusively and accessibly as possible for people of all ages and abilities. This means that something can be accessible for the person in a wheelchair as well as a mum with a pram, a teenager on crutches, an elderly person with a walker or a delivery driver with a trolley.

Designing for all people regardless of age, size, ability or disability makes for better design; and better design is good for business. Below are some links to tips and resources to help you implement Universal Design principles in your business as well as some inspiration from other businesses. It is not an all or nothing exercise and small changes can make a big difference.

Providing information in more than one format

Inspiration A personal trainer providing content and classes in various formats -
Online learning is more than click and read -
Tips Captioning your own videos for free -
YouTube automatic captioning -
Creating an accessible Digital Future -
Resources Video captions -
Writing for web accessibility -


Social Connection - Promoting participation

Inspiration   Housing choices – the potential of a buyer’s agent in helping buyers overcome blindspots
Karma Kitchen -
 Tips  The future is inclusive Podcast -
 Resources  The 7 Principles of Universal Design | Ed Roberts Campus -


Amenities and social infrastructure

Inspiration Re-imagining the work environment -
Ageing in place -
Re-imagining the future: the to-do list for Woden -
Tips Choosing an accessible venue for meetings and events -
Resources Event accessibility checklist -
Universal design for evaluation checklist -
Building for everyone: A Universal Design approach -


Universal Design for physical challenges 


 A new breed of escape room – even grandma can play -
Adopting a person-centred approach when customers are confined to home - design in the context of wellbeing
Ridesharing that employs people with disabilities -
Accessing new markets by making your products more accessible -
Adapting products to solve problems -
Tips  Not-for-profits innovating service delivery -
Tips for businesses -
Resources  Food Packaging Design – Accessibility Guidelines
Disability Confidence Canberra Manual and Checklist -
Incorporating inclusive design into the product design process -


Inclusive design in the context of wellbeing

Inspiration Re-thinking design as you move from a physical to a digital environment -
Hairdressing on the move -
Making allied health accessible -
Catering for diversity can lead to product innovations -
How has the pandemic changed our approach to mental illness? -
Tips Universal design strategies: Impact of aging considerations checklist -
Inclusive design for psychological wellbeing -
Resources Accessible environment for autistic people -


 Effective Communication

Inspiration 5 tips for engaging participants in online workshops -
Tackling social isolation using radio -
Tips 15 Content design tips for your website -
Easy English vs Plain English Guide
Resources Web accessibility tutorials -
Inclusive language for startups and tech -
Inclusive language -




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