Enabling environments : people, wheelchairs and standards
Author(s)Duerk, Donna P
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Sandra C. Howell.
MetadataShow full item record
Designing environments to accommodate people in wheelchairs is far more than ramps and wide toilet stalls built according to the state building code. This study attempts to illuminate the functional imperatives behind certain standards (especially relating to spinal cord injuries) and to show how families with chair-bound members actually use their homes. There are seven case studies in the body of this work ranging from a situation where both parents are disabled to the typical nuclear family with only one disabled parent to 'families' composed of unrelated individuals sharing a home. Use of each house is illustrated via a diary-generated daily routine as well as by a house evaluation showing the adapted and unadapted features. The case studies are heavily illustrated with photographs. The final chapters discuss the issues and themes that emerged from the study and propose a model of individual competence that is based on an equilibrium among various options for adapting behavior and/ or physical surroundings. Prioritized standards are proposed, parallel to ANSI A117.1-1977, that advocate broad application of minimum accessibility standards, narrower application of acceptable accessibility standards and specialized application of adaptive accessibility standards. This proposal is made in order that a wider range of housing choices be made available to families with chair-bound member(s). In general it was found that most requirements for accessibility did not interfere with the needs of the ambulatory - except in the requirements for counter heights in the kitchen.
Thesis (M. Arch. A.S.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1980.MICROFICHE COPY AVAILABLE IN ARCHIVES AND ROTCH.Includes bibliographical references (p. 127-133).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology