Application of a Universal Design Approach can complement any design process by prioritising design activities that enable an organisation to extend their range of users by identifying diverse user needs, characteristics, capabilities, and preferences; by directly or indirectly involving users; and by using knowledge about accessibility in its procedures and processes. A resource for organisations is the standard EN 17161.

Standardised across Europe, “EN 17161:2019 Design for All - Accessibility following a Design for All approach in products, goods and services - Extending the range of users’ is a process standard about using a Universal Design approach at all levels in organisations to continuously improve and manage the accessibility and usability of the products and services they provide.

Stories from ALONE and Dolmen as early adopters of EN 17161 is in a webinar. Also find, two publications about implementing Universal Design guidance and accessibility standards for continuous improvement and informing procurement activities at ALONE. 

EN 17161 is part of a suite of standards that can be used by organisations to demonstrate their conformance with the European Accessibility Act (EAA) that requires some products and services to be accessible. The European Commission issued a Standardisation Request (SR), M/587, in 2022 to European standards bodies to develop a number of standards in support of the DIRECTIVE (EU) 2019/882. In collaboration with the National Standards Authority Ireland (NSAI) the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design is participating in the development and revision of these standards within the scope of the EAA.