From Assistive Technology to Universal Design: Meeting the Needs of the Population

Kenneth N. K. Fong, Carmen Ka-man Yau

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


One of the core knowledge domains and skills in rehabilitation is assistive technology. This is the design of assistive products for individuals with disabilities or any user with difficulties in aspects of daily life, such as self-care, work, and leisure. Such knowledge has also been applied to “universal design”. Universal design (UD) is an approach to make products and environments as usable, accessible, and inclusive as possible for people of all ages and abilities. As the local population is ageing, such universal design concepts are even more important in order to enable independence in daily living, improve quality of life, ensure safety in community participation, and reduce the cost of care in society. This chapter discusses the concept of universal design, illustrates the concept and its differences to assistive technology, and shows its benefits to society. Examples in local contexts are showcased for discussion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAgeing Care in the Community: Current Practices and Future Directions
EditorsKenneth N. K. Fong, Kar-wai Tong
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherCity University of Hong Kong Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)978-962-937-643-7
ISBN (Print)978-962-937-643-7
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2024


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