Universal Design

Betsy Bayha, World Institute on Disability

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University December 8, 1995


Universal design of information systems and telecommunications means developing systems flexible enough to accommodate the broadest possible range of users regardless of age or disability. The time has come to think creatively, to move beyond the outmoded, clumsy and costly approach of retrofitting systems with adaptive equipment to create access for many end users. Universal design calls for flexible interfaces to be built into the product at the blueprint stage, producing systems more easily used by everyone. Implemented in its best sense, universal design can result in an expanded market and a mutually beneficial situation for both industry and consumers.

The presentation will feature Electronic Curbcuts. a video on universal design and computer interfaces, which was produced by the Universal Access Project.


Betsy Bayha directs the Universal Access Project, an endeavor of the World Institute on Disability, The Trace Research & Development Center, and the CPB/WGBH National Center on Accessible Media. The Universal Access Project, funded largely by a planning grant from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, focuses on building accessibility for disabled persons into the information superhighway at the design level. Through ongoing dialogue with industry, consumer groups, agencies and related projects, consensus-based guidelines will be developed.

More information on design for universal access is available through the Trace Center at Madison.


Titles and abstracts for all years are available by year and by speaker.

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