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Outdoor Universal Design in Phoenix Arizona

n areas such as Phoenix Arizona residents and visitor enjoy taking advantage of the great weather and outdoor activities. But not all individuals find it easy to get from one place to the next. Most places are not fully accessible to get to get around in such as public lakes, parks, and even personal backyards. If you have ever experienced or knew anybody who’s relied on the use of a wheelchair or walker you should know you’re very limited to what you can walk and roll on. A wheelchair on gravel, dirt or sand is by far not easy to move through so most of the time the an individual is stuck with using walkways made of concrete or stone.

But over the past decade individuals have become more aware of the issues that surround those who need an accessible living environment. Universal design has evolved over the years and is more commonly used in both residential and commercial buildings. Universal design is based on the philosophy that says all spaces should be accessible for all users. Instead of focusing on users with specific needs, universal design develops solutions that work for everyone, regardless of mobility, age, auditory, visual, or mental ability.

Most individuals when they think of universal design they associate it with areas inside the home such as bathrooms and kitchens. But universal design can stretch beyond the inside and carry over to the exterior of a home or business.  There are several ways to make outside living spacing accessible for everyone.

The most import thing to remember is keep pathways level and if an incline is needed create a gentle incline. Using asphalt is good, gravel is bad. But what if asphalt isn’t the look we want? There are products on the market that can help bind gravel to keep it looking natural while still allowing wheelchairs to use the path. Two suggested products is Gravel-Lok or Klingstone Path you can find these items at stores such as Lowes or Home Depot.

For other design considerations, universal design outside has many of the same considerations as the inside. Outdoor kitchens can be made usable for anyone, and lighting design becomes even more important for safety and wayfinding at night. If an individual in the Phoenix or surrounding areas is interested in finding out ways to make their outdoor living space more accessible please feel free to contact ADL Solutions for a free evaluation. (Email [email protected] or call 480-636-1816)