CNM Celebrates Universal Design Day

April 9, 2016 -- CNM will celebrate Universal Design (UD) Day on Wednesday, March 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. near the Basehart Rd. entrance at Main Campus. It will be a day of hands-on activities and presentations designed to demonstrate how the college promotes making education accessible to everyone.
CNM Celebrates Universal Design Day

Mar 09, 2016

More than one in 10 people have disabilities that can limit their access to equal education. That number can be reduced by using the seven principles of UD in building construction, technology applications and teaching techniques.

“Our hope for UD Day is to educate students, faculty and staff about the seven principles of UD by demonstrating how CNM has incorporated UD into not only facilities planning but Academic Affairs,” said Paula Smith-Hawkins, associate dean of the School of Communication, Humanities & Social Sciences. “We’ll also highlight services and technology that can make life easier for those with disabilities and others as well.”

She added that the benefit of UD Day to students would be that they can learn about a variety of technologies and other supports available for their learning, whether they have a disability or not.

UD Day activities will include information tables, assistive technology demonstrations and perception and learning information. Among those to be on hand will be representatives from English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), CNM Connect, Outreach and New Student Orientation, Media Production Services, Mental Health First Aid program, Special Olympics and more. 

Smith-Hawkins said that employees of general contractor Bradbury Stamm Construction, which built the new entrance to Max Salazar Hall, will be available to discuss how the entrance demonstrates UD.

“Ease of use is one of the seven principles, as well as multiple modes of learning,” she said. “The new entrance has both a wheelchair ramp and staggered stairs. It’s open and easier to access the building.”

The seven UD principles include:

  • Equitable – The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.
  • Flexibility – The design accommodates a wide range of individual performances and abilities.
  • Simple and intuitive – Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills or current concentration level.
  • Perceptible information – The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.
  • Tolerance for error – The design minimizes hazards of the adverse consequences of accidental of unintended actions.
  • Low physical effort – The design can be used efficiently, comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.
  • Size and space – Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation and use regardless of the user’s body size, posture or mobility.

For more information about UD Day, contact Smith Hawkins at (505) 224-3601 or email