Designing for Special Populations

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CONFERENCE: Posters-at-the-Capitol

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Blair, Bailey; Kidd, Bryan; Stillwell, Kelsey; Stinson, Lauren
conference paper description
We are interior design students at Eastern Kentucky University who are aware of the importance of continuing education beyond graduation. Because of this, we would like to educate the consumer of the design considerations for special populations. As students we have been learning about universal design concepts, and its importance, which is a topic we have become passionate about. Universal design is creating spaces in which all types of people can function easily within. We chose to approach universal design by addressing the needs of special populations - groups whose needs may not always be addressed. For example, special populations typically do not feel they could safely use the resources offered in disaster preparedness, relief and recovery. Specifically, we are representing those with hearing impairments, visual impairments and mobility limitations. In order to fully inform ourselves on these issues we conducted extensive research regarding these specific areas; the uses of lighting, furniture arrangement, acoustical properties and architectural elements. Our efforts are so that designers may be aware of the importance of these issues and the impact a successful environment can have on its everyday user.