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Designing for Disabilities

Please see attached document “GUIDE on HOW TO KEEP A JOURNAL.pdf” to complete the task for this week. Please make sure to review the “Evaluation of Journals” as that is how this task will be graded. I have also attached an example of an completed journal for you to reference and follow as a format.

I have attached this week’s lecture notes and summary and additional information.

Designing for Disability — this week’s work focuses on Universal Design (UD) which is dedicated to improving access for persons who may have functional limitations. These limitations are usually enhanced by environmental barriers more than by the impairment or limitation the person may have. Designing for disability now encompasses everything around us that we use and touch. UD is very important for assistive devices and other types of equipment and technologies needed to enhance the abilities of the person and the use of modern technology and communications. Lately, there is a lot of emphasis on other aspects of society access, such as interior and exterior designing, fashion and accessories that are more fitting and user-friendly for persons with different functional limitations. For information on designing for other abilities see: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/fashion/parsons-design-disability.html

Universal Design (UD) is the process of creating products that are accessible to people with a wide range of abilities, disabilities, and other characteristics. Universally designed products accommodate individual preferences and abilities; communicate necessary information effectively (regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities); and can be approached, reached, manipulated, and used regardless of the individual’s body size, posture, or mobility. Application of universal design principles minimizes the need for assistive technology, results in products compatible with assistive technology, and makes products more usable by everyone, not just people with disabilities.

Typically, products are designed to be most suitable for the average user. In contrast, products that are designed according to principles of universal design are designed to be usable by everyone, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design (Connell et al., The Principles of Universal Design in resources list).

Universal design typically results in product features that benefit a variety of users, not just people with disabilities. For example, sidewalk curb cuts, designed to make sidewalks and streets accessible to those using wheelchairs, are today often used by kids on skateboards, parents with baby strollers, and delivery staff with rolling carts. Similarly, a door that automatically opens when someone approaches it is more accessible to everyone, including small children, workers whose arms are full, and people using walkers or wheelchairs.

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