Universal Design is the design of products and environment to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, whether old, healthy or infirmed, and without making the home look sterile and cold. Also called barrier-free design, it makes the house safer and accessible for everyone, regardless of age, physical ability, or stature.

Universal Design evolved from Accessible Design, a design process that addresses the needs of people with disabilities. It goes further by recognizing that there is a wide spectrum of human abilities. Everyone, even the most able-bodied person, passes through childhood, periods of temporary illness, injury and old age.

Universal Design takes into account the full range of human diversity, including physical, perceptual and cognitive abilities, as well as different body sizes and shapes. By designing for this diversity we can create things that are more functional and more user-friendly for everyone.