Inclusive Design Best Practices: The "ABLE" Initiative, "Access a Better Living Environment"

Rendering of interior space for the ABLE housing project (Source: World CP Day website)

Image Source: World CP Day website

As identified on the World CP Day website:

"A talented group from Canada has won the Team Prize in the World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Day competition to design a house for people with cerebral palsy who experience unsteady balance and movement."

Project team members describe key features as follows:


  • Our design is safety and beauty with the challenges of cerebral palsy in mind. We implemented universal design principles, functionality, flexibility, simplicity, low physical effort, wrapped in an aesthetically pleasing living environment.
  • We propose a virtual renovation of a typical Canadian bungalow residence by stripping out the partitions and cabinetry to create flexibility in sizes and functions.
  • The floor is one continuous level surface on thick cork underlay throughout with radiant flooring for warmth and comfort. From oil rubbed wood floors throughout on thick cork underlay and recessed teak mat in the shower.
  • Materials introduced are inspired from the softness of a sponge while remaining natural, resilient and easy to maintain.
  • Outside corners were designed curvilinear including horizontal and vertical surfaces to embrace movement.
  • Lighting choices are influenced by therapy colors from LED and large textural pendants in the airspace.
  • The bathroom was expanded for wheelchair access with accessible fixtures such as recessed wall-hung toilet, walk-in bathtub and no-curb walk-in shower.
  • Kitchen includes wall oven, cooktop, drawer type appliances, drawer cabinetry and a mobile harvest table.
  • The sunroom’s floor-to-ceiling glass invites the outdoors in. Easy access to the backyard where awaits all senses stimulation of grass, trees and an accessible raised herb garden.

For more information, visit the World CP Day website and Canadian Architect's "The National Review of Design and Practice" website.