Editorial information: Astangu Kutserehabilitatsiooni Keskus (Astangu Vocational Rehabilitation Centre).
The Constitution of the Republic of Estonia was drawn up in the belief that all Estonian citizens and guests of the country are equal and that no one may be discriminated against or treated in a degrading manner.
Separately (§ 34), it states that everyone who is legally present in Estonia has the right to move freely and choose their place of residence. Although the constitution should be the whole organization of life in Estonia, today we are forced to admit that the freedom of movement of too many people in Estonia is significantly limited due to obstacles in the environment. This rate is often so high that it has a discriminatory and very degrading effect on people.
Although public opinion tends to associate restricted freedom of movement with a very small group of people, it actually affects many more. With the help of environmental adaptations or, even better, by following the principles of accessibility and inclusion already in the planning phase of the environment, the movement of all of us, not only people with mobility difficulties, becomes more comfortable, healthier and of higher quality.
Based on the above, the Astangu Vocational Rehabilitation Center commissioned the preparation of the instructional material "Planning and creating an inclusive living environment" in order to help and alleviate the problem by educating the clients, developers, planners and designers of the environment. The preparation of the instructional material was financed from the funds of the European Social Fund framework program "Welfare measures supporting employment 2010-2013".
The purpose of this practical instructional material is to provide answers and application possibilities for all professionals involved in environmental design using the principles of universal design. The instructional material offers inspiration and solutions to various problems and introduces the best practices for planning and building a living environment that takes into account the needs of different groups of people.
The preparation of the instructional material was primarily based on two main principles: universal or inclusive design and user-centered design.