There are times in life when we need certain answers. We have many methods for getting those answers suited to who we are as individuals. We contact friends, we search the internet, we go to bookstores, etc. What will thwart our searching, no matter how thorough our technique, is when the answer we seek is hidden. I’m not talking about an answer that hasn’t been invented; I’m talking about answers that are there and would help you move forward. They are the answers to problems that others struggled over and mastered. They are answers that have been tested and refined. It is accumulated knowledge, but you can’t even stumble upon it! And so, with some frustration, you “reinvent the wheel” clumsily moving forward and making all the same mistakes each person made before you.
In many cases, the missing answer is contained in a keyword that, like the key to a castle, unlocks and reveals the kingdom: no keyword, no access, no info … nothing. Universal design is an excellent example a missing keyword. As an advocate of universal design, there is hardly a conversation where the person I am speaking with knows the term or the knowledge it represents. Without much explanation, they quickly understand it, and for the rest of their lives have at their disposal the key to that kingdom.
As an advocate for universal design, I do not demand that you adopt it; you will choose what is right for you. However, I want you to have that key; I want it there for you when you need it; I want you to be able to move with ease and velocity when the need arises. I want you to have the answers that have been developed over thirty years by some outstanding people committed to your life being as great as it can be. I want you to enjoy your independence and to have a life of ongoing opportunity.
You are a key holder as you have found and are reading this blog. My request is that you pause and think about ten people in your life who do not have this key and for whom having this key would make a difference. Contact them, now. Maybe they are your parents or your parent’s friends; maybe your architect or builder; or, maybe your political representative. Tell them about universal design and where to look for answers; Google the keyword, “universal design” or start at my website, www.universaldesignresource.com Give ten people the key and spare them the frustrations of fruitless searching.