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Eliminating architectural barriers: a multidisciplinary approach.

Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation

Author: Paulson, C., Dahl, R., Wasch, W. K.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1993


Argues that a multidisciplinary approach is needed to eliminate architectural barriers to the elderly. In the past, the public has traditionally turned to architects, engineers, interior designers, and urban planners to resolve the limitations posed by poorly designed environments for elderly people. But this group of environmental designers lacked knowledge of the functional capacities of elderly persons and was unable to project future environmental and adaptive equipment needs. Architectural barriers include physical and functional barriers; chemical barriers, caused by almost airtight buildings; perceptual barriers, which can be visual (poor signage, glare) and auditory (external and internal noise); cognitive barriers, which make it difficult for individuals to understand and function effectively; and psychosocial and cultural barriers, which affect an individual's attitude toward public and personal space. Multidisciplinary design teams that include persons with disabilities and human factors methodology offer a new model for creating accessible environments. Modification for vision and hearing loss, and new design trends in accessible single-family and multi-family federally financed housing are discussed. An accessibility audit for team use is presented.

Further Details

Full Title: Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation
Pages: 59-73
Volume: 9
Issue: 2
Accession Number: 18.11.03
Keywords: North America, older, mobility, design, legislation compliance
Reads: 228