Universal design is used to create building, products and environments that are usable and effective for everyone, to the greatest extent possible without the need for adaptation or specialised design.
A universally designed house looks the same as other houses and most of the design features can be incorporated for no or little additional cost with thoughtful design. It contributes to the creation of inclusive, ecologically, socially and economically sustainable communities by:
- meeting the housing needs of people of every age and ability
- allowing for a diverse range of households to occupy a dwelling cost-effectively and equitably throughout the building’s lifetime
- providing for people to visit and stay in others’ homes
- providing a place in which it is safe both to live and to work and
- ensuring usability and aesthetics are mutually compatible and achieve broad market appeal.
A Commission project called Liveable Homes has been developed for Western Australia based on the national Livable Housing Design Guidelines produced by the National Dialogue on Universal Housing Design.
The Independent Living Centre (ILC) of Western Australia also provides information and advice on building and design, equipment, assistive technology, fittings, fixtures and furniture for people with disability, their advocates, carers and service providers.
Universally designed housing is a priority area of the long term strategy Count Me In: Disability Future Directions.