The concept of universal design is fairly new, just a little more than two decades. The architect Ron Mace based is one of the key persons who have worked on developing the concept. This is a quite different approach to disability than the American with Disability Act, ADA, has developed after 1990, working with detailed ADA guidelines, and focusing much on the rights for persons with different sorts of impairment. The Norwegian, universell utforming, were first in a small report published in 1997, and is a strange hybrid of the American universal design congregation and the ADA. For understandable reasons there has been most focus narrowly on physical for wheelchair users and for persons with visual impairments. This paper try to remind us that persons characterised as disabled are human beings, with senses that are not so much focused on when working with universal design.
Further the paper comments on two Nordic researchers, the architect Camilla Ryhl and the landscape architect Per Hedfors. The paper also refer to another researcher, Inger Marie Lid, who takes us to an even wider perspective, by reflecting on the work by Hannah Arendt and Martha Nussbaum dealing with issues like dignity and participation.
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