by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
More and more companies are noticing the need for accessible and universal design in a wide variety of products and projects. Consumers can now find options for accessible homes and even accessible tree houses. One organization making a difference in the arena of universal living is the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA). Located in Buffalo, New York, this company is involved in some innovative ideas and projects.
What is IDeA?
IDeA is an organization dedicated to design improvements on products and environments. The goal with these ideas is to create a universal design that is accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities.
What is the Purpose of IDeA?
IDeA strives to create new and innovative ideas on accessible design through universal accessibility options. These ideas can be implemented in accessible products and structural designs for the home, as well as the entire living environment and even entire cities. IDeA also seeks to inform as many individuals as possible about these ideas in the hopes of creating a more accessible environment for all.
How Does IDeA Help People With Disabilities?
The goals and solutions developed by IDEA can help those with disabilities by promoting designs that are accessible to everyone. Universal accessibility is very important to those with certain disabilities. A universal design in a structure or project creates an accessible design for those who have limited access to similar products and structures, making these projects easier to use for those with disabilities.
What are Some of the Projects and Products IDeA is Involved in?
Home Modification is one program IDeA has developed. In this program, consultation services are offered to families, social service agencies and other nonprofit organizations. Through the Home Modification program, there is an extensive amount of information available on accessible solutions through universal design.
Universal Design Education Online is a Web site available to teachers and students interested in learning more about accessible living through universal design. The Web site can be found at udeducation.org. Another program developed by IDeA is called Universal Design Identity Project. Through this program, IDeA seeks to learn more about the general public's perception of accessible and universal design.
Universal Cities is a program that makes resources easily accessible to builders, public officials, the general public and designers. This is done in an effort to eventually design entire cities around universal design. IDeA has developed plans to make New York City a universally accessible city.
The Passport Kitchen Cabinet Line, made by KraftMaid, is an example of an accessible kitchen product with a universal design. This line features a raised dishwasher for extra toe or wheel space underneath, lower cabinets , lowered upper cabinets and much more. The universal design is easy to access from a wheelchair.
The Soft Bathtub is an accessible bathtub with a universal design that is comfortable for anyone to use. Its soft covering helps provide fall protection, and the non-slip design helps prevent slipping. The Soft Bathtub has even been featured on ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition. These are just some of the many projects, products and programs associated with IDeA and its dedication to accessibility through universal design.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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