Universal Design and Health

September 19, 2013 at 7:56 am 1 comment

I am a member of the Delaware Coalition for Healthy Eating and Active Living (DE HEAL) and sit on the Environment and Policy Committee, which looks at how the environment impacts health, as well as designing for health.  Participation within this committee created the opportunity for me to also be involved in Delaware’s first Health Impact Assessment (HIA).  HIA is an objective analysis of how public health may be positively or negatively impacted by policy, project and/or program decisions.  I actively participated in multiple phases of the HIA, including the walkability assessment and report write-up.  You can view the executive summary HERE.  There is also a full report, which is over 100 pages, which can be requested, if interested.

My role in this project was to look at the space through an occupational therapist’s lens, to space plan and design to meet the needs of all users, regardless of age or ability level.  I provided feedback, which included the use of Universal Design features to create safe, inclusive streetscapes, access to goods and services as well as access to the community garden.  I also discussed how these changes to the environment impacts social participation, civic/community engagement and health.  Livable communities and Universal Design are inextricably connected and promote healthy, sustainable communities.  I am excited for Delaware City and Fort DuPont and look forward to actively participating in this Livable Community Plan.

Do you live in a Livable Community?

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Entry filed under: Livable Communities, Universal Design. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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