Universal Design Principles
Technology can be challenging to many in the workplace, but if you’re one of the 53 million adults in America who have a disability, it can add unnecessary obstacles. There ways to design your workspaces so they are user friendly—for everyone.
In the 90s the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University hosted accessibility experts in devising some guiding principles. With funding from The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education, they came up with seven principles. Since universal design is about accessibility for all kinds of users and accommodating a range of ages, sizes, abilities, language skills, etc., the principles embrace a variety of environments. The seven principles of universal design are:
- Equitable use
- Flexibility in use
- Simple and intuitive use
- Perceptible information
- Tolerance for error
- Low physical effort
- Size and space for approach and use
Work Applications of Meeting Space Accessibility
The principles work for all kinds of uses and spaces, including corporate offices and meeting room spaces. With collaboration technologies in particular, companies need to take into the account employees who have vision or hearing trouble. Hearing problems are common. Unfortunately, some workers opt for consumer grade videoconferencing options that make hearing meetings hard to begin with. And with vision impairment, it’s not just the displayed material that viewers need to see clearly. Sometimes users struggle with tiny control buttons that are not intuitive or easy to use.
When creating collaboration spaces, there are a lot of factors to consider when making them not only functional but as accessible and easy to use to possible. A professional integrator can help explain these considerations as well as your options.
Read this case study about the Goodwill and Easter Seals of Miami Valley to learn more about some of the ways organizations are using universal design principles in their audiovisual installations.
AVI Systems is a full-service integrator that can help you evaluate your spaces and help you choose, integrate, and manage the communications and collaboration solutions for your company. Contact us with questions or for a free assessment.