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Inclusive Environment

An inclusive environment is one that can be used by everyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or disability. An accessible environment is built on the principles of Inclusive or Universal Design. Although universal design also applies for the design of products, information, communication and policy to be usable by a range of people operating in the widest range of situations without special or separate design, in our section on accessible environments we have provided general information only on built environments.

Universal Design

Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.

- Ronald Mace

  • Universal design is a philosophy of design that recognizes, and attempts to accommodate the broadest possible spectrum of human ability in the design of all products and environments.
  • It requires sensitivity to, and knowledge about people of all ages and abilities. Sometimes referred to as "lifespan design" or "trans-generational design", it encompasses and goes beyond the accessible, adaptable, and barrier-free design concepts of the past.
  • Universal design helps eliminate the need for special features and spaces for "special people" (for example, people with disabilities) which are often different-looking, more expensive and can be stigmatizing.
  • Universal design is about ability, rather than disability. It encompasses designs for the full human life cycle, from beginning to end.
The 7 Principles of Universal Design
  • Equitable Use: The design does not disadvantage or stigmatize any group of users.
  • Flexibility in Use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities
  • Simple, Intuitive Use: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.
  • Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities.
  • Tolerance for Error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
  • Low Physical Effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably, and with a minimum of fatigue.
  • Size and Space for Approach & Use: Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use, regardless of the user's body size, posture, or mobility.


Accessible means that disabled persons can, without assistance, approach, enter, pass to and from, and make use of a built environment without undue difficulties.
Providing easy access into and around buildings and public spaces is important for everybody but essential for disabled people.

Building Bye-Laws & Codes

  • Delhi Building bye-laws
  • National Building Code-2005(To be given later)
  • CPWD Standards
  • CCPD Standards
  • RCI's Barrier Free Book
ACCESS FOR ALL: Training Manual to promote Barrier Free

Concept of Good Design

A good design should enable every one including persons with reduced mobility to:
  • Reach all places
  • Enter all places
  • Use all facilities

Space Allowance

Adequate space for persons using mobility devices. Adequate space should be allocated for persons using mobility devices, e.g. White Canes, Wheelchairs, Crutches and Walkers, Electric Wheel Chairs as well as those walking with the assistance of other persons/escort animals.
** All dimension in millimeters
The range of reach (toward and side; with or without obstruction) of a person in a wheelchair should be taken into consideration.
Attention should be given to dimensions of mobility devices used locally.