Consumer demand for accessible spaces has grown substantially in recent years. At first, the demand was driven largely by legislation like the Canadians with Disabilities Act (CDA), Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), and other provincial disabilities acts. These pieces of legislation are primarily concerned with practical matters regarding access requirements and entry into interior spaces.
However, this does not speak to the fact that an accessible space can also be a beautiful and an aesthetically pleasing one. This is best accomplished by the designer having both accessibility and aesthetics in mind from the planning stages.
We like to go a bit further and look at truly universal design. Design for accessibility is a process that considers special needs. Universal design is broader than this and seeks to design an environment that is usable by everyone without the need for adaptation. It is usually possible to retrofit a design for greater accessibility. Universal design principles build this in from project conception.
We often talk about accessibility in terms of accommodating physical or visual disability, but increased accessibility means the space is more inclusive of everyone, regardless of need.At PC350, we take pride in making sure that our products benefit from the universal design mindset. Naturally, they comply with laws like CDA, ADA, AODA and others, but we go beyond this by ensuring that the products retain their aesthetic appeal.