Fran M Hazel Design

residential accessibility solutions for barrier-free environments.



 What is Universal Design?


Universal design features are simple changes for people with and without disabilities. These changes can include wider hallways and doorways, lever handles, rocker switches.  With a little creativity, this can be done without altering the original home plan.

The added spaciousness and easy to use features of universal design are a benefit to everyone and simply makes a home more comfortably  and  enjoyable to live in and allows one to age in place.

Universal design allows a homeowner to continue living in their home even as physical abilities change over time. This concept of aging in place ensures you are never forced out of your home by decreased mobility or disability.

People with health problems

  • Women who are pregnant
  • Those with temporary disabilities, i.e., broken leg, back problems, wheel-chair bound
  • Elderly
  • All of us - All in society




Why Do We Need Universal Design?

  • Demographic changes
  • 20% of the people is inflicted with a disability.
  • Rapidly aging population
  • These needs will only increase over the next 40 years
  • The need is great with limited supply
  • Universal Design=Good Design, Creative Design, and Functional Design

"Universal Design is a design for homes that has features that are relatively easier to use in comparision to the traditional home design. It is a design of products and environments that can be used and experienced by people of all ages and abilities. Universal Design enhances the comfort, safety, and convenience of your home regardless of age, size, or mobility. It doesn't matter if you are a family with young children, and individual with permanent or temporary disabillity, or an older adult who wants to remain independent at home. Just its name 'universal' implies, this design fits every lifestyle." 1




Look at the Numbers!

  • 27 million Americans report some difficulty with walking – less than 3 Million use wheelchairs
  • One in six (17%), 45 years of age and older                        
  • (14.5 million middle aged and older adults) report some form of vision impairment
  • The Arthritis Foundation estimates that 40 million have arthritis
  • 22 million people have some level of hearing impairment



1 The Prince William Area Agency on Aging  [