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Universal Design and UD for Information

Universal Design (UD) refers to the creation of living environments and products that are useful to a wide range of consumers. It also refers to environments and products that have been created under UD principles.
As UD has a place in many aspects of our daily lives, there are professionals from diverse fields such as architecture, housing, transportation, urban planning, goods manufacturing, and information who are committed to working with UD.

At UDIT, we specialize in the research of Universal Design for Information. Our goal is to collaborate with professionals within the IT industry in realms of IT machinery and tools, web site creation, broadcasting, and communications to bring to the world more user-friendly IT products that are accessible by a versatile scope of users. We strive to input the voices of IT beginners, the elderly and persons with disabilities during the process of product planning and development.

The Difference Between UD and Barrier Free

The Japanese society has undoubtedly been created based on the needs of healthy adult males. The consequences have taken the shape of countless obstacles for women and children, the elderly and individuals with disabilities. "Barrier Free" is the attempt to reduce the number of obstacles that obstruct each citizen's right to a more comfortable living environment. This is an important movement that should be continued. We must realize however that measures taken to recreate an already existing place or object with barrier free features have been costly, and not all of these specially made features for "barrier free" causes have been appreciated by persons who require accessibility the most. Universal Design demands for early consideration of facility and product accessibility for a wide range of users before being created by the government and industry.

Citizens who are concerned with this issue must voice their opinion in early stages of product and urban planning. Not only are requests for certain improvements required, it is important that we know the processes in which products are made, and feel a responsibility towards the created output. Universal Design will grow only with the cooperation of a mature democratic society of citizens and consumer conscience.