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Universal Design Principles

The Universal Design Principles and Guidelines as originally defined by The Centre for Universal Design in 1997 at North Carolina State University have been used as a basis to create the principles below specifically related to the Curtin University built environment. More information about the Principles and Objectives of Universal Design is provided in the Appendix of this document.

It is acknowledged that a wide variety of individuals use the facilities provided by Curtin University every day. These people may be students, staff or community members visiting either occasionally or regularly. Reflecting the diversity of society, these people may be of any age, ability, gender or cultural group. It should be noted that Universal Design should be a process that starts with consideration of the user and enables and empowers a diverse population. The principles below, applicable to the physical environment of the Curtin University Bentley Campus, aims to meet this variety of need.

The Curtin built environment is defined (as per point 5 of the Curtin Physical Access Plan (CPAP) 2015-2030) as:

  • Buildings (planning, design and construction)
  • Building fit out
  • Retro-fitting buildings
  • Leased premises
  • Public realm including pedestrian pathways and parking
  • Wayfinding
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Events

Curtin University’s Seven Universal Design Principles

Curtin University has established its very own principles based on the Universal Design Principles and Guidelines prepared by The Centre for Universal Design in 1997.

Equitable Use

Buildings and the public realm at Curtin should provide the same method of use for people with diverse abilities. This use should, where possible, be identical, equivalent and dignified without stigmatization or segregation of any person.

Flexibility in Use

The design of the Curtin University buildings and public realm should accommodate a wide range of individual abilities by providing choices in the methods of use, including suitability for right and left handed abilities, varying speeds and precision of movement.

Simple and Intuitive Use

The layout of Curtin University, including buildings and external environments should be logical, easy to understand without requiring any prior knowledge base of the campus, services and facilities. Navigating the campus should be reasonably simple and intuitive, accommodating a wide range of literacy and language skills. Amenities and wayfinding information is best arranged in a consistent manner, meeting user expectations in regard to the level of importance within that space.

Perceptible Information

Throughout Curtin University Campus provide adequate contrast between essential information/ amenities and their surrounds with visual, tactual, auditory contrasts.  A variety of techniques can be used to ensure the information is able to perceived and understood by a range of users with a wide range of abilities and cultural understandings.

Tolerance for Error

All campus layouts, designs, spaces, ongoing constructions and events are to be safe and logical to navigate. All new constructions and retrofit situations should minimize the possibility of hazards. Where possible predict and avoid possible adverse consequences by providing failsafe measures and warnings of unavoidable hazards.

Low Physical Effort

The Curtin campus should enable efficient and comfortable navigation with a minimum of fatigue. This includes consideration for the orientation and design of buildings to reduce the need for sustained physical effort for people moving around the campus and interfacing with buildings and campus facilities.

Size and Space for Approach and Use

Throughout the campus, including buildings and external facilities, adequate space should be provided to accommodate a variety of users, regardless of body size, postures or means of mobility. Spaces are to be sufficient to accommodate assistive devices, the reach requirements of those seated and standing and variations in hand/grip size, strength and endurance. Space is also required to accommodate a clear line of sight to important amenities by any person who is seated or standing.