A style of architecture and design whose object is to make buildings and facilities easy to access and use by allpeople, including the young, the old, and the disabled.
Dictionary of the English Language, Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The design of places and objects to enable access and use by all persons, to the greatest extent possible, without adaptation
Source: Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
A design methodology that enables
and draws on the full range of human diversity.
A design that considers the
full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture,
gender, age and other forms of human difference.
Inclusive design (also called
universal design) makes places usable by everyone, regardless of age, ability
and circumstance. It is based on the simple principle that designing for the
widest range of people creates better designs and benefits everyone.
Inclusive design aims to remove the barriers from the lives
of people that create undue effort and separation. It makes easy for the people
to participate equally, confidently and independently in everyday activities.
It is basically a design that can be accessed and used by
all the people, regardless of age, gender and disability. This design is not
only relevant for buildings but also applies to the surrounding open spaces as
well, where people go for their everyday activities. It can include shops,
offices, hospitals, institutes, park and streets etc. The aim of inclusive
design is to make people realize the importance of inclusion in the society. Also,
it also aims to make possible for the disabled people to contribute equally in
the society. All the people benefit from inclusive design, but most importantly
it helps disabled and older people.
Inclusive design not only means to make one thing for all
people but it is about designing a diversity of ways for everyone to
participate with a sense of belonging. Many people are unable to take part in
society, both physical and digital. Physical and social barriers can be removed
by implementing inclusive design.
During the past 25 years, many design approaches have been proposed
in the fields of designing for disabled and elderly user. The User Pyramid
design approach by Benktzon in 1993 has been proposed as a graphic illustration
of how to overcome the objection that inclusive design is an unrealizable goal.
She has divided the population into three different parts. At the base of
pyramid are the large numbers of able-bodied people, the middles layer
comprises of people with reduced capabilities, and at the top are the small
numbers of people with severe disabilities, including people in wheelchairs and
people with very limited strength in their hands and arms. The approach assumes
that if buildings are designed to be used according to a particular layer, they
will automatically be useable by all those in the lower layers.
1. A physical, mental, cognitive, or developmental condition
that impairs, interferes with, or limits a person’s ability to engage in
certain tasks or actions or participate in typical daily activities and
2. A disabled person as someone who has a physical or mental
impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her
ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
Source: The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
3. “Disability”, in relation to a person, means a
substantial restriction in the capacity of the person to carry on a profession,
business or occupation in the State or to participate in social or cultural
life in the State by reason of an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or
Source: The Disability Act 2005
4. Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments,
activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a
problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty
encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a
participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in
involvement in life situations.
Source: World Health organization (WHO)
5. A disability is a functional limitation or restriction of
an individual’s ability to perform an activity.
6. A disability is defined as a condition or function judged
to be significantly impaired relative to the usual standard of an individual or
group. The term is used to refer to individual functioning, including physical
impairment, sensory impairment, cognitive impairment, intellectual impairment
mental illness, and various types of chronic disease.
Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
with a disability that has any of the long-lasting conditions that
substantially limit one or more physical activities such as walking, climbing
stairs, reaching, lifting, or carrying.
Source: Erickson, W., &
Lee, C. (2008). 2007 disability status report: United States. Ithaca, NY:
Cornell University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability
Demographics and Statistics
Impairment of function to below the maximal level, either physically or
3. Loss of function at the level of the whole person, which may include
inability to communicate or to perform mobility, activities of daily
living, or necessary vocational or avocational activities.
Source: World Health organization (WHO)
A person with a
physical disability is restricted by his physical ability to perform any
activity independently such as walking, bathing, toileting, etc.
can be caused by two reasons:
A person who has been
suffering from physical disability since birth or later due to genetic problems
like problems with muscle cells or injury during birth.
A person whose
disability developed due to road or industrial accidents, infections such as
polio or diseases and disorders such as stroke or cancer.
TYPES OF DISABILITIES:
The two major
categories come under the physical disability then they are further classified
into different types:
It is the disability that unable a person to carry out different
activities associated with movements of the body parts due to muscular or bone
deformation, diseases or degeneration. It is further classified in to different
Deformity of Limbs
Loss or Deformity of Limbs
It is caused due to
diseases or accidents or may be due to birth defect. The person with this kind
of disability requires an artificial limb to compensate the functional loss of
A person whose bones
are imperfectly made from the beginning of his life it is because of a
defective development of the connective tissues at the growing age that leads
to softening of bones and the affected person experiences deformed posture. It
is a hereditary disease whose reason of cause is still unknown. These persons
require wheelchair to move as they are usually active.
In this type of
disability, a person loses its muscular strength gradually due to hereditary
disorders. Muscles around the neck, shoulders and hips are more affected than
the other muscle groups. With the time, the person with this disability also
requires wheel chair for mobility because he loses its functional strength.
It is the disability
that unable a person to perform controlled movements of affected body parts due
to diseases, degeneration or disorder of the nervous system. It is further classified in to different
It is a damage of the
brain that causes the problems of movement and coordination. The reason of
causing cerebral palsy is by birth injury, jaundice or any infection. The
person may have disabilities associated with cerebral palsy such as
intellectual, behavioral, visual, speech etc. He/she needs different adaptive
equipment and support for carrying out his/her activities.
It is a defect in
which spinal cord and its membrane is exposed through a gap in a backbone. It causes paralysis of the lower part of the
body. A person requires a pair of crutches or wheelchair to move.
It is an infectious
virus disease affecting the lower part of the body that usually affects
children and adults. It causes weakness in the body especially in both legs. A
person with this disability requires mobility aids and some kind of support to
carry out the day to day activities.
The interruption of
blood supply of the central nervous system or having hemorrhage inside the
brain causes stroke. A person having stroke experiences a sudden loss of a
sensory motor functioning of one side of the body like loss of vision, hearing
or intellectual functioning. A walking stick or wheelchair is required for the
mobility of a person.
This disability is
caused by the injury in head that leads to a condition called hemiplegia where
the sensory motor functions of one side of the body become weak.
Spinal Cord Injury
It is a damage to the
spinal cord that causes changes in function, either temporary or permanent. It
results in paralysis or paresis. The affected person requires different devices
like wheelchair, crutches etc. to perform daily activities independently.
FACED BY THE PHYSICALLY DISABLED PEOPLE:
We are constantly being
affected by the world around us, and this reflects our attitudes and approach
even towards disabled people. According to the World Health Organization, the
survival of persons with disability is even today threatened by attitudes and
behavior of able-bodied people. Following are the problems faced by the
physically disabled people.
Parents and the home environment:
Many tasks are difficult to
do independently for a person with disability such as getting dressed, but the
situation can become more complicated is the parents and care takers take
complete control over the person’s life. The problem arises when the disabled
person adopts an attitude of helplessness which has a great impact on the
socialization process, school and education, work and career as well as on
one’s physical and psychological well-being.
People with disability
subject to different negative attitudes and barriers within the educational
system. The lack of accessibility and resources provided in education is a
major barrier for students with disability.
Another reason is the
attitude of companions. Even children have misconceptions about disability and
these persons. These could be exhibited bluntly such as calling persons with
disability names. It could also be a form of harassment, like moving away from
the person with disability, that results in fear or lack of knowledge. It may also
result in feelings of insecurity that lead persons with disability to
experience isolation, lack of motivation to learn and absenteeism from school.
Disabled people have
different ways of learning and as much as possible the educational system has
to adopt different teaching methods accordingly through different subjects. The
educational system needs to acknowledge and praise skills in various subjects
including arts and sports in order to enhance the self-confidence and
self-esteem of the students.
It is hard for disabled
person to find a job or experience discrimination during the process of
job-search. The second most important reason is that disabled people are not
properly trained to develop their skills further due to lack of accessibility
in educational system so that they are not as much able to get a job.
disabled people face lack of access to opportunities and experiences that
results in lack of participation and contribution in a society. Different
reasons of lack of social relationships are a sense of loneliness, lack of
social network, feeling unworthy or useless or considered as a burden. Young
disabled people find it difficult to engage in such as shopping, going to the
cinema, clubbing etc. Lack of budgeting skills or have financial restrictions
can also be the reasons of not engaging as much as other people do.
TYPES OF SKILLS:
disabilities need skills to engage in their daily life activities. But the
society and as well as their families assume that they are unable to engage in
such activities. They often lack access to basic education, that makes them
unqualified to further develop their skills. This results in lack of skills, as
well as low confidence and achievement.
Different types of
skills are required to make them live independently including foundation skills
that can be acquired through education and family life, technical and
professional skills that enable a person to carry out particular activity or
task, business skills enable a person to get success in self-employment.
These skills can be acquired through basic
education and family life. They include literacy, ability to learn, ability to
solve problem. These skills are needed for work everywhere, in all contexts and
vocational and professional skills:
skills help disable people to carry out a particular task that how to produce
or repair something. It includes carpentry, tailoring, weaving, metalwork, basket
making, tinsmithing, shoemaking.
advanced technical skills, such as computer technology, are normally referred
to as professional skills. Generally, the more advanced the techniques, the
higher the educational level required and the more formal the training, often
taking place in technical institutions.
skills are required to succeed in running a business activity. They include
money and people management, as well as planning and organizational skills.
Training courses which teach trades likely to lead to self-employment, such as
carpentry, radio repairs, two-wheel motor mechanics and weaving.