Tag: Accessible

Accessible design is growing. But can it be beautiful?

It was nearly 30 years ago that the Americans With Disabilities Act established its accessibility guidelines to protect the rights of people with disabilities. Accessible design has grown up a lot since then.

Those standard design requirements for public, commercial and government facilities were a critical step for the ADA, governing such elements as wheelchair lifts, curb ramps and handrails. But as designers have begun to understand the vast — and growing — demand for accessible living, the concept has evolved from a practical matter to a complex idea about beauty, equity and what it means to live well.

Architects and designers who are disabled themselves have brought attention to the need for a more holistic approach than grab bars and wheelchair-accessible hallways, a more homey feel than hospital chic. And many businesses are simply looking to the future: “There’s a giant wave coming,” Seattle-area interior designer Melinda Sechrist says

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