Global Universal Design Commission, Inc., (GUDC) a nonprofit corporation, was established to develop Universal Design (UD) standards for buildings, products and services. GUDC is currently developing UD voluntary consensus standards for commercial buildings, which will expand access to buildings for all people, regardless of physical stature and varying abilities. The approved UD standards will guide corporations and government entities in the creation of barrier-free facilities, providing diverse users with access to commerce, public services, entertainment and employment opportunities.
Buildings and products designed according to the UD standards will benefit everyone, including the 650 million people living with disabilities worldwide and the growing aging population. Businesses stand to reap enormous benefits from the implementation and utilization of UD, including an increase in consumer base, customer loyalty and an expanded labor pool
Universal Design (UD) increases usability, safety and health of environments, products and systems in response to the diversity of people and abilities. With attention focused on the changing demographics, differences in functional ability and preferences are part of everyday life experience. UD represents a paradigm for design of the built environment and products to address this diversity and increase use by all by introducing flexibility, choice and accommodating features to the physical world and business practices.
With support from the public and private sectors, the Global Universal Design Commission, Inc. (GUDC) is a not-for-profit corporation established to increase understanding and use of universal design to change the world in which we live.
Historical Significance of GUDC
With bipartisan support in the U.S. at federal and state levels, and the involvement of the design, development, disability and aging communities, the GUDC mission is to accelerate adoption of UD concepts. Design for the range of human performance and preferences must move beyond focus on compliance with law to a vision of good design that provides ease of use without disadvantage to any group or individuals. UD benefits everyone – women and men, elders and children, people with disabilities and those without, people using different languages. Practicing UD broadens markets and increases consumer satisfaction because it addresses differences and preferences of all types.
UD will change our world, as sustainable design is changing business practices, culture, and everyday experience. Ten years ago, sustainable design was more theory than practice. Today, governments, developers and corporations emphasize sustainability to respond to changing public expectations.