Universal Design for the WorkPlace


  • All controls within the comfortable reach zone of between 24 inches (610 mm) and 48 inches (1220 mm) above the floor;
  • Ample and secure storage for employee’s personal possessions within the comfort range of 24 inches (610 mm) and 48 inches (1220 mm) above the floor
  • At least one automated door to the building, preferably one closest to employee parking or public transportation;
  • Counter heights for workstations should be adjustable to fit a work force with a wide range of statures and visual abilities;
  • Cubicles and other devices to give individual workers some control over noise
  • Designated break areas that are quiet and comfortable, to allow workers a place to recover from work demands and socialize with others;
  • Height adjustable work surface between 28 inches (715 mm) and 32 inches (815 mm), with frequently used items stored within 24 inches (610) and 48 inches (1220 mm) and within a 24 inch (710 mm) maximum of reach arch from the elbow;
  • Sound absorbent materials on walls and floors to keep ambient noise levels as low as possible where background noise cannot be eliminated
    Storage containers that provide the option of carrying, pushing, pulling, or rolling;
  • Systems for employees to adjust light levels at their workspaces to best fit the requirements for their specific tasks, individual abilities, and preferences
  • Wheeled chair with adjustable height seat, reclining tilt function, lumbar support, adjustable arm rests, and a high back to support neck and head
  • Workstations situated so employees can communicate effectively with visual and/or verbal modes of communication
  • Workstations that accommodate both standing and seated positions, also referred to as “sit-stand” workstations used wherever possible

Source: WBDG Accessible Committee; Jordana L. Maisel, PhD and Molly Ranahan, PhD


Universal Design in the Workplace

Funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), and is part of the ADA National Network in the United States.