The concept of universal access was developed within the last generation by architects, engineers and others who utilized “universal design” in construction. Their vision was to create building environments, structures and communities that were easily accessible for all and barrier free.
Not for one, but for all!
At Eastern, we are committed to improving the educational environment for students with disabilities and believe an effective way to reach those goals is to promote an environment of Universal Education Access (UEA) for all people regardless of their background or characteristics.
What do we mean by UEA? Consider the fact that this website was created using a keyboard – the “offspring” of the typewriter. The first successful typewriter was developed 150 years ago as a communication device for blind people, yet the typewriter and now the keyboard have universal application. The same goes for those curb cuts. They may have been put in place to help wheelchairs get around easier, but chances are if you have ever pushed a stroller or a cart you have used one too. If you used a keyboard today to check your email or easily rolled your bike up a sidewalk with a curb cut, you experienced the benefits of making our society accessible to all people.
At the Center for Disability Studies and Universal Access we introduce faculty, staff and students to universal design for instruction and universal education access that embraces the tapestry of diversity both in and out of the classroom.