Every one of us will experience a need for universal design at one time or another in our lifetime. Universal design is a building concept addressing accessibility issues for people who may encounter physical challenges due to size, height or diminished physical ability brought on by the aging process or a change in health status. This design promotes integrating cost-effective and efficient modifications to improve the accessibility of structures. Who hasn’t sprained an ankle, brought home a new baby, cared for a sick or aging relative? Universal design is for now and tomorrow.
Plano’s population is growing older. Our senior population has increased by 150% since 2000 to approximately 28,000 people. If this trend continues the number could reach nearly 70,000 by the year 2030. At this rate, the City’s current supply of retirement and assisted living facilities will not be enough housing to meet this need. Plano is also home to approximately 17,000 people living with disabilities and each year that number increases. Universal design is a smart solution to improve accessibility and mobility within housing to enable seniors to age in place in their own home as well as accommodate people with disabilities.