International Best Practices in Universal Design

Canadian Human Rights Commission. “International Best Practices in Universal Design: a Global Review.” GLADNET Collection (2007): 373.


This report compares the latest accessibility standards for the built environment from both developed and developing countries. A comparison of 31 design elements including access routes, parking, passenger drop-off and pickup areas, ramps, etc. are discussed and tables comparing standards between countries are provided.  Best practices of universal design were chosen by a panel of experts in the field and are highlighted in this report. Best practices in universal design are defined as building practices and procedures that comply with universal design principles and provide affordable design practices that meet the needs of the widest possible range of people who use the facility. The review acknowledges that a best practice is not always applicable to people in different countries around the world; the development of local standards that respect and recognize local conditions, are necessary. Best practices are provided to enhance understanding of accessibility issues, and may be used as resources in the development of other national or local standards.