Universal Design: Everyone Benefits

Image shows three architects working together at a table.

The Northwest Universal Design Council (NWUDC) invites you to attend a special presentation by Marthalee Galeota, access and disability program manager for the Starbucks Coffee Company, on Thursday, February 9, 2017. The presentation will be held in conjunction with an exhibit called “Open to All: Designing for the Full Range of Human Experience” at the Center for Architecture & Design, operated by the Seattle chapter of the American Institute of Architects (Seattle AIA).

Ms. Galeota leads Starbucks disability initiatives and strategic planning, collaborates and advises business units on universal design and access, manages interpreter services, and designs and implements training programs on disability and access. She joined Starbucks in 2004 and has built a network of “access ambassadors” across the company, which was named a top employer for disability hiring and inclusion in 2015.

Graphic for the Open to All exhibit at the Center for Architecture & Design

Click on the image above to view more information about the exhibit.

Galeota served on the team that planned the “Open to All” exhibit, which demonstrates why designers must move beyond the “one size fits all” approach. Universal Design—as promoted by the NWUDC—is design for all ages, all abilities, all the time.

“When the principles of Universal Design are considered, early and often, you don’t see it, it’s just better design,” says Tom Minty, a founding NWUDC member and member of the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services. “Equity, flexibility, simplicity, ease of use—when architects, designers, and builders consider Universal Design principles early and often, everyone benefits. The principles were developed with the built environment and ‘visitability’ in mind but the same can be said for any kind of design process.”

For event details, read the original article on AgeWise King County (January 2017), click here, or visit the Northwest Universal Design Council website, Environments for All.