The original concept of Universal Design was created by architect and industrial designer, and wheelchair user, Ronald Mace.
In 1997, Ronald led a working group of architects, product designers, engineers, and environmental design researchers, to create the 7 principles of Universal Design to help guide the design process of environments, products and communications. Here's a summary of the principles.
PRINCIPLE 1: EQUITABLE USE.
The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.
PRINCIPLE 2: FLEXIBILITY IN USE.
The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
PRINCIPLE 3: SIMPLE & INTUITIVE USE.
Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.
PRINCIPLE 4: PERCEPTIBLE INFORMATION.
The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities.
PRINCIPLE 5: TOLERANCE FOR ERROR.
The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
PRINCIPLE 6: LOW PHYSICAL EFFORT.
The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.
PRINCIPLE 7: SIZE & SPACE FOR APPROACH AND USE.
Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user's body size, posture, or mobility.