Universal Design is the highest standard of accessibility. The aspiration of Universal Design is that all people, whether with or without a disability and regardless of the type of disability, can use a product, a programme, a service, buildings, means of transport, etc.
It considers the (sometimes) contrary requirements of different disability groups. E.g. for wheelchair users, it is important that pavements are lowered at street crossings, while for blind persons it may be important to have a clear difference of levels to avoid entering a street with traffic unknowingly. A solution under the Universal Design approach can be to lower the pavement, but at the same time provide tactile elements at the lowered pavement that a blind person can perceive using the cane.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) defines Universal Design in its Article 2 as “the design of products, environments, programmes and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design.”
However, even with Universal Design in place, the provision of reasonable accommodation for particular groups of persons with disabilities may be necessary.