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The Universal Design Education Project: bringing the user/expert into the teaching and learning of design Elaine Ostroff Adaptive Environments/ Institute.

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Presentation on theme: "The Universal Design Education Project: bringing the user/expert into the teaching and learning of design Elaine Ostroff Adaptive Environments/ Institute."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Universal Design Education Project: bringing the user/expert into the teaching and learning of design Elaine Ostroff Adaptive Environments/ Institute for Human Centered Design Inclusive Education – Partnerships with disabled people

2 I love teams!

3 The Universal Design Education Project – Higher education strategy, working with design educators to enable future designers to be inclusive 4 years, colleges & universities 55 faculty, 4 disciplines, hundreds of students, 70+ user/experts, 10 advisors Engaged 4 professional societies, documented in Strategies for Teaching Universal Design

4 Background precedents, civil rights context Project Development approach, funding, collaborators Project Implementation selection, range, user/experts What Followed international conferences, global network, Access to Design Professions

5 Ray Lifchez, University of California, Berkeley Traditional architecture studio, Exxon funding A House for Someone Unlike Me Focus on the relationship of all the users, not just about access Super environmental professionals Its part of my life, how I will be active as an architect

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8 We cant do it alone

9 The USA context: Separate is not equal USA constitution Schools segregated by race Brown vs Board of Education

10 1960s: race-based civil rights

11 1970s: disability-based civil rights

12 Section 504: beginning of a movement; led to the Americans with Disabilities Act The opportunity – the teachable moment Leadership of the National Endowment for the Arts

13 We need future designers to understand universal design, not just ADA compliance… to design to include, not exclude. The NEA Challenge

14 Universal Design Education Project: The Concept Professional design education – all disciplines National Grass roots Recognize & support the committed educators Change attitudes Provide incentives Involve user/experts Create a network

15 Funding: Raise a lot of money Seed money from National Endowment for the Arts Many proposals Finally… - NEC Foundation of America - NYNEX - and others Department of Justice, Disability Rights Section universal design assures voluntary compliance with ADA - Dissemination - Advisor visits - Strategies book

16 Collaborators – many! - 4 professional design organizations - The advisors = experienced universal designers

17 Process for selection Detailed Request for Proposals, with weighted criteria: Originality and clarity of approach Demonstrated experience in user needs design Demonstrated experience with universal design Prior experience involving PWD, diverse users Prior experience with curricula innovations Department support, evidence of lasting impact

18 Range of projects included: Required design studios Required studios & courses Elective courses Elective computer tutorial Elective graduate seminars Conferences Charrettes City-wide teach-in

19 In the design studio:

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21 In courses, discussion with students:

22 In charrettes:

23 User/experts: What we learned The user/expert better than the expert About relationships Clear expectations, a formal agreement Advance preparation Compensation Timing; early involvement; once isnt usually enough

24 …what we learned Where to find the user/experts Diversity of age and ability Value in having people close to students ages Good documentation CAUTION with empathic experiences

25 Evaluations For students: User/experts most valuable aspect – I wouldnt design any other way Changes in knowledge and attitudes Short term learning gains, not able to see longer term For faculty: Most rewarding teaching in 20 years For the institution: Limited impact; values reside in the individual

26 What followed… Designing for the 21 st Century 1 st International Conference on Universal Design

27 A global network, online resources and then…

28 Access to Design Professions – A living memorial to Ron Mace, FAIA User/experts ARE the designers.

29 Research with designers worldwide 33 key informants, all professionals Early interests, career development, inspirations, obstacles Led to book, Building a World…online & in print Network of Designers with Disabilities Continuing effort to encourage careers in design Daniel Hunter, Researcher

30 Expand the Concept Advocate for changes in professional schools and design practice: - Architecture for Social Justice in conferences, awards - AIA Diversity events - NAAB Accreditation criteria

31 Teach Others: Building Careers in Design Online course for vocational counselors to learn about careers in design from network members Federal agency - RSA - supported online course, website,

32 Working with Deaf High School Students Horace Mann School Introducing careers in design:Lab experience – the egg drop

33 Conclusions Infusion across curriculum Real world projects Educators need resources, network Partnerships with user/experts essential Requires planning, follow up User/experts need compensation Documentation, dissemination Develop data base Evaluate longer-term impact

34 Where next? Thank you.


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