What is the relationship between accessible design and designing for health and wellness?
As Lead on Accessibility for the AIA Committee on Design + Wellbeing and Senior Accessibility Consultant for Steven Winter Associates, this is a question I am often asked. The answer is threefold:
1) The six AIA Principles on Designing for Health directly impact people with disabilities. For example, to help people with disabilities safely navigate the built environment and engage with their community, we must promote Safety and Social Connectedness; by addressing Environmental Quality we can mitigate the onset of certain disabilities, such as asthma, that can arise from polluted surroundings; the effective design of Sensory Environments and Access to Natural Systems can reduce stress and anxiety to enhance physical and mental health; and Physical Activity can be critical to physical therapy and rehabilitation for people with disabilities.
2) Read more