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Universal Design Kit Description and Contents

Objectives | Activities | Contents | Handouts


Consumers will be aware of universal design principles.

Consumers will be able to identify products that have universal design features and select products to make everyday tasks easier.

Professionals who work with people with disabilities will be able to select products that will benefit their clients.


Activity #1
Divide the participants into small groups and give each group a universal design item and its traditional counterpart. Let them discuss the features of each item and decide which would be more convenient to use.

Activity #2
Demonstrate all of the items or selected items from the kit, comparing traditional design to universal design. Pass items around the room to encourage individuals to try out the products to see the difference for themselves.

Activity #3
If setting and space permits you can divide the gadgets according to areas of use (outdoor, office, etc.) and create stations around the room where the traditional design items and universal design items can be tried out and compared.

Outdoor - garden trowels (15a,15b), rain gauges (16a 16b), hose connectors (17a, 17b)

Home office - staple removers (10a, 10b), scissors (11a, 11b), phones (12a, 12b), pens (13a, 13b), calculators(14a, 14b)

Living area - remote controls (3a, 3b), night lights (4a, 4b), clocks (5a, 5b)

Bathroom - toilet tissue holders(1a, 1b), dispenser/bottles (2a, 2b)

Kitchen - measuring spoons and cups (6a, 6b, 7a, 7b), vegetable peelers (8a, 8b), dustpans (9a, 9b)

Universal Design Kit Contents
Gadget Source Information

Number Item/Description Source Price
1a Toilet tissue holder
Roll slides into place using one hand
Discount stores $4.00
1b Toilet tissue roller
2a Three-chamber dispenser
Liquids are dispensed with push of a button; ideal for shower or sink
Walmart $16.00
2b Shampoo bottle
3a Universal TV remote
Large buttons are easy to distinguish by sight or touch
Independent Living Aids $11.00
3b TV remote control
4a Touch control night light The Lighthouse 2/$15.00
4b Night light
5a Bold number wall clock Discount stores $4.00
5b Wall clock
Good Grips measuring cups
Good Grips measuring spoons
Large plastic handles are easy to grip; large, high contrast markings are easier to see
Kitchen and True Value hardware stores $5.00
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
8a Good Grips vegetable peeler
Soft cushion grip with built up handle fits hand better
Kitchen and True Value hardware stores $7.00
8b Vegetable peeler
9a Long handle dustpan
Long handle; no need to bend to use
Discount stores/Adaptability $14.00
9b Dustpan
10a Easy grip staple remover
Staple can be removed with one easy motion
Discount or office supply stores $2.00
10b Staple remover
11a Fiskars soft grip scissors
Spring reduces operation to one motion; large handles have cushion grips
Discount or sewing stores $12.00
11b Scissors
12a Large button adjustable volume phone
Handle fits hand; large easy-to-read numbers and large buttons
Discount stores $15.00
12b Slimline phone
13a Comfort grip pen, Dr. Grip
Easy grip pen makes writing more comfortable
Discount stores $5.00
13b Pen
14a Large button calculator
Large buttons are easier to read and operate
Discount stores $4.00
14b Calculator
15a Good Grips garden trowel
Built up handle coated with non-slip material provides comfortable grip
Discount and hardware stores $9.00
15b Garden trowel

E-Z Read rain gauge
Large numbers and bright colored float make it easy to read from a distance or with a visual impairment

Wal-mart, hardware stores $8.00
16b Rain gauge
17a Hose connector, Hosewrench
Comfort grip handle makes attaching hose easier
Creative Designs $10.00
17b Hose connector
18a Snake Rake *
Adjustable height bent handle with cushion grips provides better body fit; reduces strain
True Value, Target, hardware stores $16.00
18b Rake *
19a Long handle duster *
Adjustable handle gets at hard to reach areas
Discount Stores/ Independent Living Aids $10.00
19b Duster *
* Rakes and dusters are optional items and must be picked up in person with kit from the AgrAbility office.


Better Tools for Everyday Tasks (HTML) (PDF)

Gadget Source Information (HTML) (PDF)

To reserve kits or for more information contact...

Iowa AgrAbility
1094 LeBaron Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50014

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Contact: Mary Yearns

Revised: 02/09/99