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New Brunswick Coalition of Persons with Disabilities

Why Are We Not Talking More about Universal Design (U.D.)?

Why Are We Not Talking More about Universal Design (U.D.)?

***Fact – Many seniors have to leave their homes due to stairs, bath/showers, hallway layouts, light switches too high. All of this impacts their mobility.

***Fact – Knee and hip surgeries have horrific wait times and it’s not getting any better.

***Fact – Knee and hip surgeries are often required due to years of pressure put on these joints … from stairs.

There have been housing announcements in New Brunswick and we are not hearing anything about Universal Desigh. Why are we not talking about this, when we know it is a more cost-effective and smart way to deal with accessibility for ALL. Not only there isn’t any talk about UD related to these announcments, but we are also not hearing the word accessible. Lets hope it’s just too early in the game to mention (in THEIR opinions, not ours). Let’s hope we are not being left behind! Do we really have to remind everyone AGAIN that we are not the largest demographic in NB at 35.3% ? This is seriously getting old… don’t you think?

So, if you want new housing that works for your parents as they age, for the 35.3% of persons with disabilities in NB, for our veterans, for those who may face an injury that decreases mobility for a while and for those who may never need the features, but benefit all the same – please email your MPs, MLAs, Premiers and demand UD.

Australia has done it (it’s the law), in Norway you can’t get a loan to build unless it’s UD and London, England is about to make it law. Over here in Canada, CMHC wants it mandated ..Why not here in New Brunswick?

And if you are thinking it’s a question of cost, rest assured that if you start with UD right from planning, it costs no more to build. Maybe… even less.

Universal Design is quicker and easier to build, doesn’t cost more, allows for seniors and persons with disabilities to live at home (not in the hospitals) and is overall so much more efficient for everyone. Every Canadian would benefit. Our seniors would be happier, persons with disabilities would feel like they have some independence, and our hospitals and medical systems would actually work!

Let’s talk about Universal Design…the smarter way to build!

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