8.4 Universal Design
Flexibility is a Major Principle of Universal DesignHow work is performed (e.g. allowing cashiers to sit or stand).
When work is performed (e.g. flexible scheduling, compressed work week).
Where work is performed (e.g. remote work locations, whether full-time, part-time or occasional).
Design for EveryoneEmployers should strive to incorporate U.D. principles as much as possible to make work environments accessible, inclusive and productive. U.D. aims to increase workplace well-being and engagement for everyone.
Universal Design Accessibility ConceptsU.D. is an ongoing process that builds adaptive, resilient, and inclusive workplaces.
Physical accessibility: ramps, ergonomics, work stations
Systemic accessibility: workplace accommodation policies, protocols, flexibility
Leadership/communication competencies: cultural agility, emotional intelligence
Work culture accessibility: inclusiveness, employee well-being, employee resource groups
Examples of Universal Design in the Workplace:Physical environment
- Zero-step entries
- Automatic door openers
- Wider doorways and hallways
- Adjustable desks
- Modular furniture
Tools and technology
- Speech-to-text software
Applying universal design makes workplaces more inclusive! Applying these principles for the benefit of all employees fosters innovation and builds business capacity.
Workplaces that promote inclusion generate more benefits than simply including people with disabilities.
2 The Center for Universal Design, College of Design, North Carolina State University, North Carolina, USA in Toolkit: Key indicators of accessibility - Reporting on the UN CRPD, prepared by the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), 2015.
3 Workplace Diversity Strategies: Utilizing Universal Design to Build an Inclusive Organization, Sean McEwen - Calgary Alternative Employment Services. PowerPoint. www.calgaryemploymentfirst.ca
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