By Sherette Almandoz
Interior Design Consultant
I sit in my pew peacefully as I take in the morning Mass, until my eye catches the struggle of one of the lay ministers. Dressed quite nicely, and always eager, she mounts the stairs to ascend the altar. Though her mind is keen and willing, her age tellingly limits her movements. No railing exists to aid her steps, and her legs fight to make it to the top.
This scene has probably taken place in many other churches, and sadly many other establishments, both locally and abroad. This issue of hindered mobility is just one of the common limitations that the elderly, and persons who are abled differently, face on a daily basis. Memory, hearing, and vision impairments are noted to be quite widespread as well. Facing such limitations in the built environment can be challenging. Thankfully, the concept of Universal Design stands to address these issues.