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Achieving full participation through Universal Design

Achieving full participation through Universal Design

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Published by Council of Europe
Many Europeans with disabilities are unable to participate in important areas of society, simply because policies and the built environment are not designed to meet their requirements. Moreover, with the number of elderly people rapidly increasing, European societies will have to accommodate more and more disabled citizens in the future. This book invites member states to:
- promote full participation in community life by ensuring access to all areas of society, including the built environment, transport, products and goods, information, public service, education, employment and health care;
- implement Universal Design as a strategy to ensure equal and democratic rights in society for all individuals, regardless of age, abilities or cultural background, including persons with disabilities.
Many Europeans with disabilities are unable to participate in important areas of society, simply because policies and the built environment are not designed to meet their requirements. Moreover, with the number of elderly people rapidly increasing, European societies will have to accommodate more and more disabled citizens in the future. This book invites member states to:
- promote full participation in community life by ensuring access to all areas of society, including the built environment, transport, products and goods, information, public service, education, employment and health care;
- implement Universal Design as a strategy to ensure equal and democratic rights in society for all individuals, regardless of age, abilities or cultural background, including persons with disabilities.

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Published by: Council of Europe on Oct 27, 2010
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10/27/2010

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Executive summary
Universal Design is a strategy for making environments,products, communication, information technology and ser-vices accessible to and usable by everyone – particularly peoplewith disabilities – to the greatest extent possible. Barriersto participation in social life can be avoided when UniversalDesign principles are applied to mainstream policies and solu-tions right from the early stages of planning.This report shows that many European countries have hadvery positive experiences with Universal Design/Design for Allinitiatives, but also that full advantage of the possibilities hasnot yet been taken.To change this, a number of recommendations to governmentsare presented under the headings of (1) Adoption and decisionon principles; (2) Co-ordination; (3) Implementation; and(4) Evaluation, with a clear focus on the planning process.A selection of examples of good practice is provided and linkedto many of the key action lines in the Council of Europe ActionPlan to promote the rights and full participation of people withdisabilities in society: improving the quality of life of peoplewith disabilities in Europe 2006-2015 (RecommendationRec(2006)5).
 
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1. Introduction
Many Europeans, especially people with disabilities, areunable to take part in important activities and aspects ofsociety in an equal manner, simply because policies, socie-ties and environments are not designed to meet their require-ments. Additionally, with the number of elderly peopleincreasing rapidly, future European societies face the chal-lenge of adequately addressing the particular requirementsof a growing number of people with disabilities. This reportconsequently invites member states to:
promote full participation in community life by ensuringaccess to and usability of all aspects of society, includ-ing the built environment, transport, products and goods,information, public services, education, employment andcare;
implement Universal Design as a strategy to ensure equaland democratic rights in society for all individuals, regard-less of age, abilities or cultural background, includingpersons with disabilities.
1.1. Definition of Universal Design/Design for All
Building upon the Tomar Resolution
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adopted in 2001:Universal Design is a strategy which aims to make the designand composition of different environments, products,
1. Council of Europe Resolution ResAP(2001)1 on the introduction of theprinciples of universal design into the curricula of all occupations workingon the built environment (“Tomar Resolution”).

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