Hello, I'm Susan Mann Dolce, founder of Universal Design Enterprises. I would like to welcome you to our blog, where we are committed to providing information and training to help you design personal, community, educational, health and wellness, and business programs that are accessible, inclusive, fun, safe, and welcoming.
I was the kid who set up a classroom in the garage in the summer and played school with the neighborhood kids (of course I always wanted to be the teacher!). The kid who remembers vividly at 12 visiting a neighbor who used a wheelchair and was so sad that she was essentially trapped in her house. The kid who was so angry at religious ed class when I was told that my best friend who was Jewish could not go to heaven. I offer insight from thirty-seven years of practicing yoga (ten years teaching it), working professionally as an Occupational Therapist and then in Accessibility Resources, a lifetime focused on working to make our community more accessible to everyone. I offer this blog in the hopes that it will inspire and guide others to embrace difference through creating inclusive communities.
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Developed in the 1970s at North Carolina State University by Ron Mace and his colleagues in Architecture and Design, UD focuses on designing spaces, tools, and devices that are accessible and able to be used by most people. Universal Design is a process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness and social participation.
Today, over 26 years after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, buildings are designed so people can physically get into the space, however, once they get inside it is often not possible or very difficult to participate in the activities occurring in the space. This is true for all sorts of spaces, including businesses, medical offices, health and wellness programs, classrooms, and community spaces of all kinds.
At Universal Design Enterprises, our focus is on how to design programs, services, and activities so most people are able to participate.
To contribute to a more inclusive community through teaching, information, and resources that promote Universally Designed programs, services, and activities that are safe, welcoming, and comfortable.