Disability, access and design: a study of wheelchair access.

Adams, S. K., 2006. Disability, access and design: a study of wheelchair access. PhD Thesis (PhD). Bournemouth University.

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Abstract

The aim of this study is to determine wheelchair user's views about access and ascertain whether designers are able to contribute to issues pertaining to inclusion through design solutions. Popular constructions of disability have established a relatively powerless and deviant status for the disabled population when compared to their able bodied peers. Regulatory controls and legislation require that builders and designers are sensitised to the needs of disabled people, but there is no legislative process to endorse disabled peoples request for a fully inclusive and accessible lifestyle. The enquiry is divided into two phases. The first phase considers access issues from a sample of wheelchair users via the use of focus groups and individual interviews. The data attained and information collated for the literature review leads the author to conclude that designers should consult with end users throughout the design process. During the second phase of the study the author proposes a model of inclusive design and an associated design resource. The author advocates that this is to be used by designers and development professionals to ensure inclusion within society is attained for all sectors of the community. The study concludes that, historically, society has responded to the needs of the disabled by providing separate and special services based on each individual's impairment, as opposed to the promotion of an equitable lifestyle for all. Inclusive design focuses on the design of the environment and not individual impairments. It is a process that promotes inclusivity for all sectors of society regardless of age, race, gender, sexuality or disability. Its principles consider diversity, and provides for an inclusive environment that can help break down barriers and exclusion as everyone will benefit from the end result.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Bournemouth University for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.If you feel this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Subjects:Technology > Manufacturing and Design > Design
Group:Faculty of Science and Technology
ID Code:17784
Deposited By:Mrs Jill Burns
Deposited On:16 May 2011 14:18
Last Modified:10 Sep 2014 15:51

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