Implementing a Universal Design in IrelandAbstract1.0 Introduction1.1 Project Description1.2 Scope1.4 Aims and Objectives: The aim of the thesis was to; 1.5 Justification of the researchThe research aims to achieve; 1.6 Project Reflections: 2.0 Literature review: 2.1 Limitations of the research2.2 Case Study3.0 Methodology3.0 Research Design3.1.1 Sampling3.1.2. Description of study population3.1.3. Data collection instrument3.1.4. Data analysis4.0 findings4.1. Types of disabilities4.1.1. MobilityThe mobility of a person differs throughout the lifespan. This is affected by accidents, sickness, health, activity or age. It can be reduced such as the case of the aged or pregnancy or increased as in the case of an athlete.
Impairment in mobility can be permanent or temporal, significant or mild. The “normal” person may also find it difficult to walk in some environment when carrying a heavy load. Impairment can be significant to the level that an individual cannot move independently. Those whose mobility is impaired require space, comfortable finish, detailing of stairs, ironmongery and comfortable floor finishing. These considerations to not only address the need of the people who use a wheel chair but many more. During constructions, ramps, in corridors and handrails should be put in place in addition to floor finishes that are slip resistant to aid mobility.
The tables below indicate space requirement for people with mobile impairment and who use different facilities to aid their movement from one place to another including turning. For instance, a person who cannot move independently but requires assistance by another to push the wheel chair requires minimum space of 750X1200mm. This space is enough to facilitate feet when they extend beyond the footplates and clearance of hands at the sides. To take a 360° turn, a diameter of 1800mm is required.
All these details are important when constructing a building. This calls for the designers to work hand in hand with the constructers since unclear details will result to coming up with buildings that are inaccessible to others. 4.1.2 HearingThere are different forms of hearing impairments. These range from persons who have a problem hearing particular frequencies to those who cannot hear certain speech levels. This also includes those with acute hearing problems and the deaf. Some people have overcome this challenge through lip reading or use of sign language.
Lip reading however becomes a challenge if the person speaking is screaming, shouting or speaking a language foreign to the person with disability. To accommodate such people, the building should be designed and constructed in such a way that there is adequate lighting since they rely on their sight for communication. In addition, a public system can be used and buildings be fitted with infra-red system or an audio induction loop to ensure that people in the building receive amplified sound. Text telephones are important for those people who are completely deaf as they allow transmission of information into written form.
A combination of visual and audio system can be considered during construction in areas where announcements are likely to be made so as to ensure that those with hearing impairment are not left out. Buildings where large numbers of people meet such as churches should have audio induction loops and banks should be constructed with counter loops.