According to the CDC, one in four adults in the U.S. has an identified disability. This rate is even higher in Kentucky with 34.6% of the adult population having a disability. Individuals with disabilities often experience higher rates of health disparities compared to the general population including obesity, diabetes, cancer, depression, and more. As a result, accommodations and supports are needed for individuals to successfully access health promotion programs. In making these programs and services more accessible, this not only benefits individuals with disabilities, but a broad audience who may learn in different ways or have other unique barriers. Our efforts aim to accommodate all individuals regardless of ability, learning style, culture, language, or other considerations which may affect their ability to meaningfully engage in health programs. We do this by using Universal Design.
Universal Design encompasses principles and strategies that help all individuals have an equal opportunity to succeed, a strategy that fully allows all individuals to access programs and services without the need for adaptation (Mace, 1985). The Human Development Institute‘s Kentucky Inclusive Health Collaborative at the University of Kentucky provides expertise in applying Universal Design principles to programs, services, and curriculum across the health field. These applied principles promote equitable access to the built environment, health programming, information, and communication that allow the broadest audience of participants. To learn more about Universal Design at HDI, click here.
Universally Designed Resources
The KIHC team specializes in applying these Universal Design principles to health resources which assist existing health programs and services to make adaptations to be more inclusive and accessible to all individuals. Through resource review, revision, and creation of new products like graphic organizers promote equitable access to the built environment, information, and communication. Check out our resource library for more examples of universally designed resources. If you or your organization are interested in our resource development or resource review contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.