Seven Principles of Universal Design

This chart outlines the principles and provides examples for playspaces. Use the links at the right to learn more about how Universal Design can help you create an inclusive, accessible playspace for all.

Principle* The Design Examples for Playspaces
Equitable Use Is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities Motion-operated automatic doors
Flexibility in Use Accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities Equipment, benches, chairs, etc. of different heights and sizes
Simple and Intuitive Use Easy to understand, regardless of users experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level Simple signage easy for all people to interpret
Perceptible Information Communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities Wall, floor, and sidewalk art communicates location
Tolerance for Error Minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions Paint splatters on the art room wall allows for children's mistakes
Low Physical Effort Used effectively and comfortably with a minimum of fatigue Seamless transition in flooring and playground surfacing
Size and Space for Approach and Use Provides appropriate size and space for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of users body size, posture, or mobility Extra-wide doorways and entries to equipment

*The Center for Universal Design (1997). The Principles of Universal Design, Version 2.0. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina State University