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Access to barrier free & healthy indoor environment has become increasingly important for a vast majority of Americans. This is due to increases in aging and obesity levels (29%) in the US population, and which are leading to sensory and mobility impairments.
Recognizing that ADA’1990 is applicable to a narrow segment (17%) of Americans , and that a barrier free environment is becoming a necessity, a team of thought leaders from North Carolina State University developed a set of accessibility enabling principles called “Universal Design/UD”. The UD principles were released in 1997 in the USA and leading to widespread awareness and acceptance for their application in the built environment, everyday products/equipments/appliances etc..
Since then, UD principles have gradually found widespread international recognition particularly as innovations in digital technology opened up access to information and communication across the world.
Most Americans spend an average of 90% of their lives indoors. Due to sealed & our climate-controlled buildings, our indoor environments have become more toxic than the outdoors.
This is due to bacterial & chemical contaminations of indoors caused by air-borne allergens, off-gassing VOCs in everyday products/building materials etc., thereby leading to unhealthy air & water quality and endangering health/safety/welfare of users.