May 31, 2007

Universal Design Article in Architectural Record

David Sokol's article Boomers Teeter at Edge of Vision Crisis quotes Danise Lavine of the IDEA Center and Eunice Noell-Waggoner, president of the Center of Design for an Aging Society:

Danise Levine, assistant director of the IDEA Center at University at Buffalo, says that while Universal Design principles take low vision into account, existing standards are prejudiced against low-vision building occupants. “Most accessibility codes are geared toward people with mobility issues, which is not what most low-vision people grapple with,” she explains. In cities such as Atlanta, residential “visitability” regulations, which guarantee entry and bathroom access for disabled visitors in new homes, also emphasize physical impairment. Even the best intentions, including mandatory curb cuts for wheelchair access, put low-vision pedestrians at a disadvantage, since these people are unable to discern the dip in a sidewalk’s surface.

Architects are slowly waking up to the low-vision epidemic. According to Eunice Noell-Waggoner, president of the Center of Design for an Aging Society, they are “becoming more curious” about accommodating low-vision users. The American Institute of Architects now includes information about lighting techniques in its guidelines for healthcare facilities.

The full article:

Posted by rollingrains at May 31, 2007 03:51 AM