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Human Services Department News Release

SUBJECT:   Northwest Universal Design Council to discuss economic benefits of barrier-free design and access to affordable health care

1/7/2013  9:40:00 AM

Irene Stewart (206) 684-0662
David Takami  (206) 684-7241

Northwest Universal Design Council to discuss economic benefits of barrier-free design and access to affordable health care

Architects, builders, planners, senior advocates, and members of the disability community are invited to attend the quarterly meeting of the Northwest Universal Design Council (NWUDC) on Thursday, January 10, 2013 (9:3011:30 a.m. in the Seattle Municipal Tower, Room 1610, 700 5th Ave, in downtown Seattle).

The program includes two presentations:

  • Tom Minty will present "The Economics of Design," going beyond the esthetic and functional benefits of barrier-free design and examining the economic impact of universal design. Minty serves on the Northwest Universal Design Council as well as the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services. Minty is a Realtor with John L. Scott Real Estate and owner of Able Environments, LLC.
  • Daniel S. Gross, senior staff attorney at Northwest Health Law Advocates, will discuss how the Affordable Care Act allows states to expand their Medicaid programs, how Health Benefit Exchanges will provide opportunities for individuals to purchase affordable health insurance, what Washington state is doing to implement these requirements, and how these coordinated programs will help diverse populations, who have up until now had only limited access to coverage, gain access to affordable health care, in "The Affordable Care Act, Medicaid Expansion & Health Benefit Exchanges."

Universal design is a concept that guides creation of a built environment (homes, offices, transportation systems, etc.) that is inherently accessible for people of all ages and abilities.

The NWUDC meets quarterly. 2013 meetings are scheduled for January 10, April 11, July 11, and October 10. Meetings are free and open to the general public. For more information, contact Aging and Disability Services planner Irene Stewart at or visit the NWUDC Web site at

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Seattle Human Services Department
Street address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 5800, Seattle, WA 98104
Mailing address: PO Box 34215, Seattle, WA 98124-4215

Phone: 206-386-1001
Fax: 206-233-5119
TTY/TTD: 206-233-2778

Accommodations for people with disabilities provided upon request.