New design tool to encourage accessibility


The Auckland Design Manual has introduced a new tool to support architects and designers incorporate ways to cater for people of all physical abilities and stages of life when they are designing buildings and public spaces.

The new Universal Design Tool is part of Auckland Council’s Auckland Design Manual website.Optimized-featured_image_disabilities_city_A-1

The tool is a free online resource providing best practice design guidance with diagrams, examples and checklists to inspire universal design.

Universal design encourages people to design for human diversity and to implement design solutions that work for everyone.

Elise Copeland, Auckland Council’s Principal Specialist for Universal Access, says the Universal Design Tool provides tangible examples of universal design from around the Auckland region that are functional and attractive.

“Universal design is a growing priority for designers and developers – particularly for those who are working on mixed-use and public buildings like galleries, retail spaces and public transport hubs that need to be accessed by everyone.”

Councillor Cathy Casey says that good design is vital so that everyone can enjoy Auckland safely and easily.

“Our city is growing and it needs to be able to work for all of us at the different stages of our lives – whether we are able-bodied or differently-abled.

“We want to make Auckland welcoming, inclusive and user-friendly for all of us.”

Carina Duke, The Blind Foundation’s Practice Advisor, says The Blind Foundation was pleased to help with the tool’s development.

“Universal design covers many of the aspects of design that improve accessibility for those who are blind or have low-vision, such as colour, contrast, lighting and tactile features.

This tool will provide people with a greater awareness of aspects of best practice and going beyond minimum standards to create environments that are inclusive for everyone.”

The Universal Design Tool is part of a growing suite of design resources on the Auckland Design Manual website.

It was developed in collaboration with the Auckland Design Office, the Universal Design Forum, and a wide range of industry professionals.