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Universal Design​

Rush is a nationally recognized leader in accommodating the needs of patients, students and employees with disabilities, and this leadership is evident throughout the Tower. The new hospital incorporates what's known as universal design, making it
accessible to people with and without disabilities.


  Video: Universal Access at Rush


"I'm very excited about what we have done," says Eugene Thonar, PhD, professor of biochemistry and orthopedic surgery. Thonar, who has a disease of the joints and uses crutches and a scooter to assist with his mobility, was a member of a task force that ensured accessibility was a central part of the Tower's design.

Here are a few of the key features:
  • The grade of the slopes of the ramps between the new hospital and the Atrium Building are barely noticeable, making it easier for people in wheelchairs to propel themselves up and down the ramps.

  • Handrails are abundant throughout areas where patients travel.

  • Contrasting borders on the edges of hallway carpeting help patients with low vision distinguish where walls are located.

  • All acute-care and critical-care adult patient rooms have built-in ceiling tracks to accommodate lift devices for patients with disabilities
  • Bathroom doors in patient rooms swing in both directions, allowing people in wheelchairs to enter and leave easily.