Examples of Skill-Building in Positive Supports

What is Universal Design?

Universal design written next to people across the lifespan. Below on colorful paper is written equitable use, flexibility in use, simple and intuitive, perceptible information, low physical effort, tolerance for error, and size and space.

Supportive environments are designed in ways that anticipate the needs of everyone in the setting. The term Universal Design refers to a process that helps people create products and spaces that are accessible to all people with a wide range of abilities. The goal is to create products and spaces that don’t require any additional changes for people related to their size, disability or mental health status.

  • Equitable Use: An environment can be used by diverse people of different sizes and abilities
  • Flexibility in Use: The setting can accommodate preferences and abilities
  • Simple and Intuitive: It is easy to understand what to do in a setting without complex instructions or experience
  • Perceptible Information: Information about the environment is obvious and clear to everyone
  • Tolerance for Error: The environment is designed to minimize error and provide ways to prevent injury
  • Low Physical Effort: A setting requires low effort to move through without causing effort to navigate
  • Size and Space for Approach: The space is designed to allow people to easily use no matter what a person’s size, reach, posture, or mobility needs

-National Disability Authority

Universal design is an important element that needs to be considered when helping a child or adult and designing a supportive environment promoting independence, predictability, and equitable access. Universal Design also promotes a feeling of belonging since the environment works for everyone.