The term was coined by the late Ronald L. Mace,
Originally it was used primarily as relates to architectural design, it’s an approach to design that works to ensure products and buildings can be used by virtually everyone. We have all benefited from this approach to design. Think of your smart phone or tablet which any child can pick up and figure out how to use intuitively. Add to that all the voice activation and you know the access universal design has brought to your daily life.
When we first began looking for products we wanted to sell at Chestnut Street.com we discovered MagnaReady shirts and Maura Horton their creator.. Maura created MagnaReady when her husband, a college football coach was diagnosed at age 48 with Parkinsons disease. She has written: “One day after a game he was trapped in the locker room unable to button his shirt. Unfortunately, his hands just were not working. Luckily, a player noticed his struggle and buttoned his shirt for him. That night my husband came home and relayed the story. He was embarrassed that he couldn't perform this simple task. He was thankful that he had someone to help him that day, but he was anxious about getting into a situation when he was alone. By magnetically infusing the buttons on his shirts, I created a product that could restore freedom to his daily routine.”
MagnaReady shirts look just like any fine quality dress shirt, but they are the best possible life hack, because they allow someone who otherwise would not be able to dress themselves, to do so with ease. And look great!
Thanks to Maura we also learned about the exciting ideas coming every summer from MIT’s Open Style Lab. A team, consisting of a Occupational Therapist, an Engineer and a Designer create a solution to a challenge for an individual client.
In an piece about Maura Horton and MagnaReady for Fox News ,” Suzanna Eller, a Seattle, Wash. based social worker said; “When a disease or physical limitation is taking away your abilities or sense of self, every little thing that allows you to feel whole or capable is a gift.”