Evaluating universal design in built environments - A scoping project

Valerie Watchorn, Cathryn Grant, Richard Tucker, Danielle Hitch, Patsie Frawley, Susan Ang, Kathryn Aedy, Apeksha Gohil

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This project aimed to scope existing methods of evaluating the application of universal design to built environments and to explore relevant knowledge of key stakeholders, such as architects, access consultants and people who experience disability. The project commenced in 2017. Ethics approval was gained and a mixed methods approach was employed. Methods of data collection included electronic survey and in-depth interview. Early survey findings are reported in this paper. A descriptive approach was used to analyse quantitative data. A total of 157 survey responses were received from across Australia (83%) and internationally (16.6%). Preliminary findings indicate that most survey respondents (72%) had been involved in the process of applying universal design to the design of built environments. Although evaluating the application of universal design was rated as “extremely important” by 85% of respondents, only 36% had such experience. Of these, 74% had used specific tools for this purpose. Non-standardised checklists and access audits were the most frequently used and preferred tools. Overall, stakeholders perceived themselves to have ‘some knowledge’ on universal design theory and application. This project offers insight into how universal design is understood and applied to the design of built environments. Findings suggest that evaluation is less common than application and that there is a need to strengthen existing methods of evaluation to provide greater detail on universal design processes and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransforming our World Through Design, Diversity and Education - Proceedings of Universal Design and Higher Education in Transformation Congress 2018
EditorsGerald Craddock, Cormac Doran, Larry McNutt, Donal Rice
Place of PublicationAmsterdam Netherlands
PublisherIOS Press
Pages689-695
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-61499-923-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-61499-922-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event2018 Universal Design and Higher Education in Transformation Congress, UDHEIT 2018 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 30 Oct 20182 Nov 2018

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Volume256
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365

Conference

Conference2018 Universal Design and Higher Education in Transformation Congress, UDHEIT 2018
CountryIreland
CityDublin
Period30/10/182/11/18

Keywords

  • Application
  • Built Environment
  • Evaluation
  • Knowledge
  • Universal Design

Cite this

Watchorn, V., Grant, C., Tucker, R., Hitch, D., Frawley, P., Ang, S., Aedy, K., & Gohil, A. (2018). Evaluating universal design in built environments - A scoping project. In G. Craddock, C. Doran, L. McNutt, & D. Rice (Eds.), Transforming our World Through Design, Diversity and Education - Proceedings of Universal Design and Higher Education in Transformation Congress 2018 (pp. 689-695). (Studies in Health Technology and Informatics; Vol. 256). IOS Press. https://doi.org/10.3233/978-1-61499-923-2-689