Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

Universal Design as a Rehabilitation Strategy: Design for the Ages

Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

Universal Design as a Rehabilitation Strategy: Design for the Ages

Article excerpt

Universal Design as a Rehabilitation Strategy: Design for the Ages

Sanford, J.A.

2012, New York: Springer Publishing Company

320 pp, (Hardcover), $55

Published in 2012, Universal Design as a Rehabilitation Strategy: Design for the Ages is considered to be a unique resource for rehabilitation professionals, gerontologists and health and mental health care professionals. This book is somewhat of a paradigm check for the reader. It offers a comprehensive look at universal design of products and environments to be useable by all people to the greatest extent possible without the need for adaptation or a specialized design. According to the author, universal design is a term originally articulated by Ron Mace, an architect who had a disability, a leading advocate of legislation promoting accessible design and a designer of assistive devices. The author notes that unlike traditional rehabilitation strategies that use assistive technologies and accessible design to increase function by minimizing demands of physical form of everyday design for individuals with specific disabilities, universal design increases function and functionality (of design) by using physical form to minimize demands of individuality with all types and levels of abilities. The author makes the case for universal design to be a change agent for social and health movements. He emphasizes how the use of universal design can promote increased performance and participation for the aging population and people with disabilities while mitigating the stigma and segregation that may characterize more traditional design strategies. As a rehabilitation professional and educator, this strategy is most welcomed.

In this text, geared for rehabilitation professionals, the reader will be able to examine a paradigm shift. The book examines key social ecological models of rehabilitation for aging and disability, and sheds new light on health and disability at both the individual and population levels. …

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