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Universal Design

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Universal Design
Question 1

i) The current state and extent of universal design in the interior design practice.

The 20th century had brought major social changes with respect to civil and human rights. Medical advances during this period meant that the surviving an injury or illness was far greater. Many people were living longer and the average life expectancy of people with severe impairments was increasing too. Therefore many governments in developed country responded with the introduction of equal rights and anti discrimination legislation to support this group of people especially in built environment (centre for excellent in UD, 2008).

In line with that Malaysia’s government is also moving towards the same goal where the first action taken required a 1993 amendment in the Uniform building by-laws (UBBL) stated that new developments have need to incorporate universal design into the building plan. Similar action taken by the department of standards Malaysia, through SIRIM Bhd, on revising two of the existing Malaysian standards (MS) to enhance accessibility for all. They are ms 1184: 2002: code of practice for access of disabled persons to public buildings (first revision) and MS 1331: 2002: code of practice for access of disabled persons outside buildings (first revision). After all, both had been merged into a new document called universal design and accessibility in the built environment: code of practice (second revision). Those amendments and revision is applicable to new and existing buildings. Under the amended UBBL, new developers had to comply with existing standards in order to improve universal access.

As far as researcher concern, as stated by leader of revising Malaysian standard Asiah (2006), the revised standards is more toward guidelines on features, from traffic islands and footpaths to door handles and taps, referenced from international universal design standards in developed countries. Which she acknowledged that it has been difficult



References: Harper. S, 2007. Is there design-for-all? Univ Access Inf Soc (2007) 6:111–113 DOI 10.1007/s10209-007-0071-2 Published online: 2 March 2007 Springer-Verlag 2007 Wheaton. M.L, 2009. Aging In Place & Universal Design Resources. Housing Policy Division, Cathy E. Creswell, Deputy Director Department of Housing and Community Development State of California. Vanderheiden, G. C. 2000. Live sign language interpretation over Internet II. RESNA News, 9-10

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