College Design
NC State University
   

Center for Universal Design Banner

   

www Center Google

   
    Projects and Services | Center Services | Center Projects | Past Projects    
    PROJECTS AND SERVICES: CENTER PROJECTS: Universal Product Characteristics    
 

UNIVERSAL PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS

The Universal Design Product Characteristicsbelow lists features to consider when selecting home architectural products, appliances and fixtures. Our goal is to promote the selection and use of products that are well designed, attractive, and have easy-to-us features that result in a convenient, comfortable and safe home environment for people of all ages and abilities. Some features may work well for some needs but may be a problem for others. For example, smooth stovetops help many with hand or arm limitations cook more easily and safely by allowing for the sliding of pots on and off the heat element. However, smooth tops may provide insufficient visual cueing for those with vision problems. Few products will have all the features listed. Use this list to select features that best meet individual needs.

Controls

Display/Labels

Other Features

Microwave Oven

*Raised, cupped or otherwise detectable by touch
*Easily programmable settings
*Can be used withlow effort and with minimum finger use
*Minimal programming required

*High contrast graphics white on black
*1/4" or larger lettering
*Redundant signals, visual and audible alarms

*Microwave/convection combination
*No lip at front edge
*Lighted interior

Ranges
*Front or side mounted
*Raised, cupped or otherwise detectable by touch
*Can be used with low effort and with minimum finger use
*Clear relationship to function (how it works and what it operates)
*High contrast graphics white on black
*1/4" or larger lettering
* Redundant signals, visual and audible alarms
*Off set burners
*Smooth cook top
*"Cool" cook top burners
*Automatic shut off function
Stovetops
*Front or side mounted
*Raised, cupped or otherwise detectable by touch
*Can be used with low effort and with minimum finger use
*Clear relationship to function how it works and what it operates
*High contrast graphics white on black
*1/4" or larger lettering
*Color contrast with counter
*Redundant signals, visual and audible alarms
*Off-set burners
*Smooth cook top
*"Cool" cook top burners
Wall Ovens
*Can be used with low effort and with minimum finger use
*Clear relationship to function how it works and what it operates
*High contrast graphics white on black
*Large size lettering 1/4" high)
*Redundant signals, visual and audible alarms
*Side hinged door
*Mount so one rack is level with 
adjacent counter
Refridgerator
*Handles that can be used with low effort and with minimum finger use
*Full height handles
*Reachable interior controls
*1/4" or larger lettering
*High contrast graphics white on black
*Interior lights place to illuminate objects from the front
*Easy adjustable shelves
*Side-by-side or freezer- under style
*Pull out shelves or adjustable shelves
*180 Opening doors
*Under counter drawer type units
*Beverage dispenser
Dishwasher
*Raised, cupped or otherwise detectable by touch
*Can be used with low effort and with minimum finger use
*Minimal programming required
*Clear relationship to function  how it works and what it operates)
*High contrast graphics white on black
*1/4" or larger lettering
*Redundant signals, visual & audible alarms
*Under counter drawer type unit
*Height adjustable racks
*Raised 6" or more for easy access
Clothes Washer
*Front mounted controls
*Raised, cupped or otherwise detectable by touch
*Can be used with low effort and with minimum finger use
*Clear relationship to function  how it works and what it operates
*High contrast graphics  white on black
*1/4" or larger lettering
*Redundant signals, visual & audible alarms
*Interior lights
*Smaller sizes can be easier to reach into
*Front loading
*Minimal programming
*Side hinged
*Front detergent loading
*Raised 6" or more for easy access
Clothes Dryer
*Front mounted controls
*Raised, cupped or otherwise detectable by touch
*Can be used with low effort and with minimum finger use
*High contrast graphics  white on black
*1/4' or larger lettering
*Redundant signals, visual & audible alarms
*Interior lights
*Easy to understand instructions
*Smaller sizes can be easier to reach into
*Side hinged
*Front lint screen
*Raised 6" or more for easy access
Kitchen Cabinets (base cabinets)
*Loop handles or touch latch hardware
*Smooth operating, full extension slides on drawers and pull-out shelving
*Interior lights
*Intermittent glass doors
*Pull-out shelves/pantry
*Pull-out cutting boards
*Lazy Susan in corners
*9" toe space option
*Base cabinet heights from  27 1/2"to 40 1/2"
*Formaldehyde-free construction
*Open storage racks
Kitchen Cabinets (upper cabinets)
*Loop handle or touch hardware *Glass doors on wall cabinets
*Interior lights
*Formaldehyde-free construction
*Pull down shelving or adjustable height installation
*Open storage racks
Kitchen Sinks
*See "faucets" *Color contrast with counter *Shallow 6 1/2" - 7 1/2" sink
*Rear mounted drain
*Disposal or two-basin sink
Bathroom Sinks
*See "faucets" *Color contrast with counter *Shallow 6 1/2" - 7 1/2"
*Rear mounted drain
Faucets
*Single levers, crosses or loops
*Non-slip textures
*Easy to control flow rate
*Easy to adjust temperature
*Peddle operated option
*Motion sensing activation
*Side mounted
*Easy to distinguish hot from cold with letters and color
*Color contrasting handles
*Built-in spray or pull out spray
Grab Bars
*Non-slip surface
*Comfortable diameter for user
*Color contrast with wall *1 1/4" - 1 1/2" diameter
*Available in many colors
*Maximum 1 1/2" gap between wall and bar
Toilets
*Can be used with low effort and with minimum finger use
*Flush control on open side
*Motion sensing auto flush
NA *14" - 19" seat height option
*Elongated bowl
*Bidet features
*18" to center of bowl from side-wall
Shower/Tub Mix Valves

*Adjustable temperature levels
*Easy to use lever handle
*Hand held shower with pause button on hand unit
*Off set control mounting

*Easy to distinguish hot from cold with letters and color
*Temperature display
*Anti-Scald features
*Pressure balanced
*Pre-set temperature settings
*69" minimum hand shower hose length
Home Automation
*Easy to set relationship between transmitter and receiver
*Limited number of buttons
*High contrast graphics  white on  
*1/4" or larger lettering
*Redundant signals, visual and audible alarms
*Remote sensing
*Computer, TV or phone access
*Voice activation
Closet
*Lighted rocker switch outside of door or door activated switch
*Loop or lever handles
*Fold back door hinge hardware
*Interior lights mounted to illuminate contents from behind user *Lighted closet interior
*Closet rod mounted at two heights or
*Adjustable closet shelving/rod system *Recessed floor track
*Walk in capability
Door Handles
*Lever at least 5" long NA *Smooth edges
*Lever handle turns back to door
Windows
*Can be opened with one hand, closed fist *Hardware color contrasting with casement *Can be fitted with power opener
*Casement/awning type
*Locks and cranks no higher than 44"
Door Lock
*Large deadbolt handle
*Easy to turn
*Mortise style integral latch and lock)
*Lever handle
*Easy to see, night lit
*"Locked" indicator
*Remote control operation
Light Switches
*Rocker panel or touch controls allow low-effort use
*Mounted between 44" to 48"
*Color contrast with wall *Glow-in-the-dark or lighted for night use
*Motion detecting features increase safety
Lifts or Elevators
*Controls on both sides of cab
*Controls no higher than 44"
*Can be used with low effort and with minimum finger use
*Raised, cupped or otherwise detectable by touch
*High contrast lettering
*Redundant signals - visual and audible cues
*Raised or Braille lettering
*At least 32" X 48" interior floor space
*Automatic opening doors
*Backup power source
*Emergency phone system
   
           
  © Copyright 2008 Center for Universal DesignCollege of Design, North Carolina State University
   
    PDF Accessibility