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Universal Access means designing facilities so that they can be used by everyone which is morethan just a building code. This standard exceeds minimal building code compliance through theassurance that no user is denied or limited access except where barriers have been justified. UniversalAccess is a higher standard than the standard required by the National Building Regulations. . NBRare legal minimums but they do not work best for everyone. Universal Access does not requireeverything to be immediately accessible, but rather allows for future inexpensive and easy adaptationsto the environment for barrier-free usage. Moreover, Universal Access must be aesthetically pleasingand functional for people with mobility, visual, hearing, and other impairments as well as for thosewho have no significant disability.

The purpose of design according to the Universal Access standard:
1. To require designers to create designs which include minimal barriers
2. To publicly discuss why barriers to universal access will be included at all! The question, "Why construct a barrier to access by people with disabilities?" will be asked in the designing of new or remodeled facilities. If the barrier cannot be justified then the barrier should be removed fromthe design.
3. All proposed designs must include a list of barriers which do not meet the standard of Universal Access prior to the acceptance of the design. For example, any pathway, entry, rest room, classroom, office, seating area, lobby, or any other facility feature which is not universally accessible,must be identified by the designers or an accessibility consultant. It is far more effective to includeUniversal Access as a goal of the design than it is to correct a design which does not comply with the Universal Access standard.

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