Universal Design

In: Other Topics

Submitted By LacyB
Words 5075
Pages 21
“Our museum is accessible: we have ADA compliant restrooms.” “It’s too expensive to make the museum accessible to such a small minority.” “There is nothing for a blind person in an art museum.” (McGinnis 138) These are the unfortunate views of some museum professionals regarding Universal Design. Universal Design is an important concept that moves beyond ADA regulations to emphasize ethics and values in attitudes, behaviors, and institutional structures. ADA compliancy is not enough, especially in one area of a building. Universal Design does not have to be expensive; some fixes are simple and easy. Additionally, an art museum can offer a blind person an equally rewarding experience that someone without a visual impairment may have; it just takes a little Universal Design.
A lot of what the Americans with Disabilities Act accomplished is now taken for granted as the standard and it is forgotten that the world was, not that long ago, a very different place. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed on July 26, 1990, guaranteed equal rights, treatment, and protections to all persons living with disabilities within the United States (Americans 5). This was not the first law to afford protections to those with disabilities; however, it is undeniably the most comprehensive formulation of the rights of individuals with disabilities in the history of the United States.
More than fifty million Americans have some kind of physical, sensory, cognitive, or mental disability (Crispen 139). Even this figure, however, may not adequately express the importance of the ADA. To appreciate its full impact, it is necessary to understand that virtually every individual and every family in the United States is touched at one time or another by the experience of disability. The ADA's far-reaching provisions for employment, state and local government, transportation,…...

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