Educating Designers and Design Educators about Universal Design - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Educating Designers and Design Educators about Universal Design. Roberta L. Null, Ph.D. Common Place Design Whittier, California. Joy K. Potthoff, Ed.D., ASID NCIDQ Certification Associate Professor, Interior Design Bowling Green State University. Margaret H. Teaford, Ph.D.

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Educating Designers and Design Educators about Universal Design

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Educating Designers and Design Educators about Universal Design

Roberta L. Null, Ph.D.

Common Place Design

Whittier, California

Joy K. Potthoff, Ed.D., ASID

NCIDQ Certification

Associate Professor, Interior Design

Bowling Green State University

Margaret H. Teaford, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

School of Allied Medical Professions

Ohio State University

Sandra Sundermeier, CPA

Universal Design Advocate

Bowling Green, Ohio

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Universal Design

Roberta Null, Ph.D.

Common Place Design

Whittier, CA

Arlena Hines

Lansing Community College, MI

(Powerpoint Presentation)

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Universal Design

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Universal Design

Universal Design

is design for all people

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Four General Principles of Universal Design

  • Supportive

  • Adaptable

  • Accessible

  • Safe

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Universal Design is Supportive

It makes the environment work for the individual, stressing ease of use & maintenance.

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Universal Design

Easy to use :

  • Child’s hand with faucet

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Universal Design


  • Easy to use, smooth surface, and also makes it easy to care for.

  • Faucet

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Universal Design is adaptable.

It serves a wide range of users whose needs change over time.

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Universal Design


  • From GE. “Real Life” (electronically) adjustable kitchen sink cabinet shown

    at highest level.

  • Note: Raised placement of dishwasher.

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Universal Design

  • From GE. “Real Life” kitchen sink at lower level.

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The everyday comforts and

conveniences that “Normal” individuals enjoy are provided to all people.

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Universal Design

“No Step”

Entrance - California home of Ruby Trow that was designed

15 years ago.

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Universal Design

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Universal Design

Accessible Bed in wall – Closed

San Francisco

Hotel guest room

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Universal Design

Easy to use

Bed open

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Universal Design


  • Elevator at end of hallway –

  • private home,

    San Diego,


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Universal Design

-Low threshold

-Roll in shower

-Important for all

interior doors

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Universal Design

Shower in Buuck home

User can slide along

built in bench to reach

shower area

Glass block adds light to

interior bath

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Universal Design

Easy to use

Kohler Comfort Height Toilet

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Universal Design

  • Accessible

  • Arjo Freedom Bath”

  • Open

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Universal Design

  • Accessible

  • Arjo Freedom Bath”

  • Closed

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Universal Design


Bocci Adjustable magnifying mirror

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Universal Design

  • Honeywell Thermostat

  • Easy to use

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Universal Design

Asco front loading washer & dryer.

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Universal Design

Easy to use



washer & dryer.

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Universal design is safe.

It not only provides environments and

tools for the presently disabled, but

actually anticipates and prevents disabilities

such as repetitive strain injuries, back

problems, and those caused by accidents.

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Universal Design

An enlarged chair rail (back wall) provides support

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Universal Design


Front controls on

Range for elderly


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Universal Design

Soft bathtub (also warm to touch)

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Universal Design

Details of

soft bath tub.

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Universal Design

Decorative grab bars in a senior housing facility.

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Universal Design

Shower in senior

housing facility

No step entrance

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Universal Design



grab bars

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Universal Design

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Universal Design

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Universal Design

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Universal Design

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Universal Design

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Accessibility Awareness

Through teaching the concepts of Universal Design and the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) codes it became clear to this Interior Design educator that the collaboration of a consultant with disabilities was crucial. In the late 1990’s Sandra Sundermeier, who has multiple sclerosis (MS), volunteered to participate as a consultant to students in the Interior Design program at Bowling Green State University.

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Accessibility Awareness

She has collaborated with students on many projects including:

  • Individual residential homes and two nursing homes for adults with Mental Retardation and Learning Disabilities (MR&LD)

  • 2006 ASID Student Design Competition which required students to design a health spa specifically for clients with MS

  • Work with Kate Burnham, Holly Harbaugh and Melanie Krebs on their poster display presented at the “Universal Design: Lifespan Collaborative Strategies” exhibit at the University of Southern California

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Accessibility Awareness

Sandra is dedicated to making students and public aware of the many and varied accessibility issues related to decreased mobility. She has taught the students and myself invaluable lessons about the need for Universal Design in both the interior and exterior built environment. In our presentation we will discuss this ongoing collaboration and show you some of the student’s design work.

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Retail Stores

Just because I can’t walk doesn’t mean that I can’t think

When I’m shopping, don’t ignore me, you never know how much money I have!

Don’t put racks of clothing so close together that I can’t get through--I feel like a mouse in a maze and I can’t find my way out.

The Maze

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Retail Stores

Put wheelchairs/electric scooters/walkers near entrances so that I don’t have to “walk” to the middle of the mall to borrow a scooter.

How are disabled individuals supposed to get to the designated area to borrow the assistance aids? Their helpers can get them? What if they are elderly? Are the helpers supposed to leave the disabled individual alone while they secure the walker?

The Maze

Designers should put themselves in the “seat” or shoes of the disabled community before making decisions that affect them.

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Accessibility Awareness

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When you put in handicapped parking spaces, please put them close to the building’s entrance, not just where they will look nice.

Remember that some people have a hard time getting around, but are not to the point of using a wheelchair. If you’re having trouble walking, then you probably can’t do steps, and don’t need the extra exercise.

Put curb cuts in convenient places, don’t make us go down to the end of the building to get into the door.

When you see me coming, hold open the door for me, don’t wait until you see me struggle with the door for several minutes before you offer to help.

Better yet, put in automatic door openers so that I can maintain my independence.

It’s a Long Way from Here!

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Accessibility Awareness

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Everyone’s Got to Go!

  • In handicap restrooms, please make sure that they are equipped so that most physically challenged individuals can use them - as independently as possible!

  • Leave the handicapped stalls for those who need them.

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Accessibility Awareness

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Jessica RuschDesigner

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Jessica RuschDesigner

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Jessica RuschDesigner

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Jessica RuschDesigner

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Jessica RuschDesigner

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Lauren KleineDesigner

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Lauren KleineDesigner

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Lauren KleineDesigner

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Lauren KleineDesigner

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Lauren KleineDesigner

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Accessibility For All

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Accessibility For All

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Educating Allied Health and Interior Design Students About Universal Design

Margaret H. Teaford, Ph.D.

The Ohio State University

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Students in the allied health field often encounter some information about home modifications as part of their study of rehabilitation, but their view is limited to providing equipment or adding grab bars or handrails to the home. They may have heard about Universal Design, but have not considered how it could help able-bodied children and adults. Likewise, interior design students have been introduced to Universal Design and how it can be incorporated into housing in an attractive way. But they know little about the physical limitations of both children and older adults that make working and living in today’s housing environments so difficult. An interdisciplinary class taught by faculty in interior design and occupational therapy has brought these two student groups together to learn from each other.

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The presentation will address class readings and assignments as well as field trips and community workshops that have enhanced their experiences. Course evaluations will highlight what they have learned together about Universal Design and how they have been able to apply that knowledge to real-life home assessments for families living in the community.

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  • Students in physical and occupational therapy study about home modifications when addressing rehabilitation of patients who are planning to return home after hospitalization

  • Likewise, students in interior design are exposed to Universal Design in their classes

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  • Both groups of students have limited view of what Universal Design can actually do

  • Students in allied health view it as help for elderly and disabled

  • Students in interior design likewise view it as part of Americans with Disabilities Act implementation

  • Neither sees it as part of lifespan development

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Interdisciplinary Class

  • Case studies on kitchen and bathroom

  • Field trips to see actual examples

  • Conduct community workshops

  • Students also conduct home assessments and report back their findings to homeowners

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Class Field Trips

  • We visited a local home that had been renovated last summer to allow a resident to return home from a nursing home

  • Second field trip was to see Universal Design exhibit at Farm Science Review; which includes educational exhibit and a bathroom and kitchen

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UD Kitchen sponsored by Lowe’s which will be featured in the January Issue of Creative Ideas

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UD Bathroom by Dave Fox Remodeling

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  • The students are trained to work in interdisciplinary teams to conduct community workshops on universal design

  • This gives them a chance to plan and implement a workshop along with faculty

  • Workshops are offered at churches, senior centers, retail outlets, and at Ohio State’s Farm Science Review center.

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Home Assessments

  • Students teams representing each discipline conduct two home assessments

  • Prior to visit, gather information from homeowner about any problems

  • Complete evaluation form and analyze the home

  • Prepare report with suggested changes, products, and costs

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  • Students gain a better understanding of Universal Design through these hands-on activities

  • They also have a better understanding of another discipline and how they can work together to provide improved services to the public

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