• About the Project
1.7.2 Universal Accessibility
Why is this important?

Universal accessibility is essential to creating an inclusive community.  There is a growing movement to apply the principles of universal design to public spaces.  Elements of this design - which include entryways without stairs, wide doors and halls, lever door handles and the use of icons as well as text in signage - ensure that products, environments, and communications respond to the needs of the widest possible array of users.  This includes access to education, employment and voting.  Without accessibility in design, a significant portion of Massachusetts residents would be prohibited from contributing to the region’s civic vitality.

How are we doing?

Universal Design of the city and its buildings is essential to ensuring quality of life for the roughly 12% of Bostonians (about 70,000) with audio, visual, cognitive, ambulatory or self-care difficulties with consideration of needs across life stages.  In the same time, some 5% of children under 18, 9% of the working-age population aged 18 to 64 and 43% of those 65 years and older had some disability.

A number of resources are available in Boston for those of all abilities, including:

Institute for Human Centered Design, formerly Adaptive Environments, is a Boston-based design and advocacy organization promoting universal design locally and globally.

City of Boston Commission for Persons with Disabilities oversees all ADA compliance in the Boston and provides access to resources in housing, travel, employment, education and community outreach;

Mass Office of Travel and Tourism lists all accessible travel and points of interest that are accessible to people with disabilities

Massachusetts Office on Disability supports key state initiatives such as ADA compliance, Community Access Monitor Training, the Model Employer Initiative and more.

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