Your source for current news and announcements about the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (I.D.E.A) in Buffalo, NY.
Jordana Maisel Editor
Heamchand Subryan Technical Assistant
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IDEA Center Staff Lecture and Present Research Nationally and Internationally
On August 24, Professor Edward Steinfeld presented the results of six years
of research conducted by the IDEA Center on the anthropometry of wheeled mobility users to
the International Codes Council’s A117 Committee for their consideration in revising the
ICC/ANSI A117.1 accessibility standard. This standard is used as a basis for accessibility
codes across the country. This research demonstrates that contemporary wheeled mobility
devices and their users as well as their maneuvering abilities require significantly
larger spaces than the current standards and codes require. The implications for revising
accessibility standards will be discussed by the Committee over the course of the next
year. The research was sponsored by the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation
Research, U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Access Board. Plans are under way to
collect more data and discussions have started to conduct research using the IDEA Center
methods on a global scale.
Click here to view a pdf version of the report result.
In September 2006, Professor Edward Steinfeld delivered a presentation at the Danish Building Research
Institute on recent research completed on the anthropometry of wheeled mobility at the IDEA Center,
which he directs. European researchers and accessibility experts are interested in using the IDEA Center
methodology to complete similar research as part of efforts by the International Standards Organization
to develop an international standard on accessibility. Dr. Steinfeld met with Swedish and Danish experts
to learn more about their research activities in the field of accessibility and universal design.
On October 19, Post-doc Dave Feathers presented a paper entitled, "Three-Dimensional Variability
of Static Anthropometric Dimensions: Considering Anatomy, Behavior and Process" at the 50th annual
meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, in San Francisco, CA. This paper outlined the
technical challenges of taking body measurements in three-dimensions. These measurements are a part
of the IDEA Center's initiative for building a national database of wheeled mobility users. Specific
challenges of training and measurer performance were discussed. This paper precedes an IDEA Center
training initiative to the University of Pittsburgh, in an expansion of the data collection sites for
the national database of wheeled mobility users.
Jue-Feng presented a paper based on a research project supported by the RERC on UD titled
"A quantitative methodology for assessment of wheelchair controllability" at the Human Factors
and Ergonomics Society 50th Annual Meeting in San Francisco this fall.
In October 2006, Beth Tauke was a featured speaker at the Universal Design Symposium:
A Wisconsin Discussion. This symposium was sponsored by the Department of Health and
Family Services and was established to begin a dialogue on the educational needs and the
growth of professional, organizational, agency, and public awareness about the creation
of communities and environments that promote the inclusiveness of all people, specifically
people with disabilities.
Beth Tauke, Associate Professor – Architecture, presented a paper on the Universal Design
Identity Project at the Second International Conference for Universal Design in Kyoto, Japan
in October 2006. 14,700 people from 29 countries participated in the symposium.
Associate Professor Beth Tauke delivered an invited lecture at the Universal Design Symposium:
A Wisconsin Discussion in fall 2006. This symposium was sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of
Health and Family Services/Pathways to Independence, and was initiated as part of a plan to ensure
that by 2012, Wisconsin will have created an environment that fully includes persons with disabilities
in the core activities of community life, including employment. The specific goals of the symposium
were to 1) initiate a statewide discussion on the development of a systematic and coordinated plan
for increasing awareness of Universal Design principles for professionals, students, agencies, and
the public, and 2) create a venue for cross-disciplinary discussions for furthering community
In her lecture entitled “The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Design Education”
Tauke addressed the reasons that design education traditionally has not focused on inclusion,
and argued that, especially with increasing globalization, inclusive design education is necessary
for design practice to be a primary catalyst for social justice and cultural change.
She introduced symposium participants to the Diversity and Design general education course at the
State University of New York at Buffalo, and suggested strategies for incorporating similar courses
into general education curricula throughout the U.S.
Freedom by Design
The IDEA center is proud to continue providing mentorship for Freedom by Design,
a student organization at the University at Buffalo that teaches students about
universal design through community involvement. Freedom by Design is a non-profit,
student-directed community service program organized through the American Institute
of Architecture Students (AIAS). Freedom by Design utilizes the talents of students
as designers and builders to design and construct home modifications for disabled
members of our community who cannot afford to modify their environments themselves.
It is an excellent opportunity for architecture students to put the knowledge they
gain in school to use for the people in Western New York who need it the most.
This program was first introduced to the University at Buffalo as a pilot program two
years ago. Since that time, UB’s chapter has been rapidly producing outstanding work
that has made profound impacts on the lives of physically-impaired citizens in our
community. Due to the dedication and empathy of the students, this chapter has become
a national leader in the program and has received considerable attention for its level
of design, production, and craftsmanship.
The program at the University at Buffalo regularly benefits from collaborations between
its students and the professional IDEA staff. To learn more about the program, including
information on how to sponsor this highly-important endeavor, please contact Matthew Zych,
Freedom by Design chair.
Figures 1and 2: Images of bathroom modification
Freedom by Design team
Steinfeld Appears in Universal Design Newsletter
The January 2007 edition of the Universal Design Newsletter,
published by Universal Designers & Consultants, Inc., includes
an article on Edward Steinfeld’s four decade commitment to human-centered design.
In addition to Steinfeld’s educational background and professional achievements,
the article describes his recent work both in and out of the classroom.
In spring 2006 Steinfeld taught a graduate architecture studio that designed
a new cabin prototype for Cradle Beach Camp, an overnight camp on Lake Erie
that serves children with disabilities and underprivileged youth.
He currently teaches Design for the Lifespan, a graduate architecture course,
and is also working on refining the Principles of Universal Design, launching a
new website (UD E-World) and writing a book.
The complete article can be found at Universal Design .
Maisel Article Published in Planning Journal
Jordana Maisel, Director of Outreach and Policy Studies at the
IDEA Center, recently had an article published in COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:
Journal of the Community Development Society. The article, "Towards Inclusive
Housing and Neighborhood Design: A Look at Visitability", appears in the autumn
2006 Special Issue on Disability and Community Development. The paper explores trends
in the visitability movement, as well as the challenges and controversies currently
surrounding the movement and threatening its future success.
Universal Design Identity Project
The Universal Design Identity Program (UD-id) project, sponsored by
the National Endowment for the Arts, was initiated to promote increased
understanding, acceptance, and use of universal design by a broad international
audience of consumers, design professionals, industry leaders, government leaders,
In this project, co-investigators Beth Tauke and Alex Bitterman researched
public perceptions of universal design, and used this information to develop
an international identity program. They developed a multi-sensory symbol and
attendant guidelines that can be used to identify products, media, graphics,
and built environments that are universally designed.
Festival of International Conferences on Caregiving, Disability, Aging and Technology (FICCDAT)
Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and March of Dimes Canada are pleased to
announce FICCDAT, the Festival of International Conferences on Caregiving, Disability, Aging
and Technology, a global festival bringing together five distinct conferences focused on
enhancing the lives of seniors, persons with disabilities and their caregivers.
On June, 16-19, 2007, the world’s leading experts will come together in Toronto, Canada.
The abstract submission deadline is November 6th, 2007. Attached to this email please find
the general brochure advertising FICCDAT 2007. Please visit the FICCDAT website
for conference updates.
Opportunity to Publish
The Editor for Universal Design for the new magazine Ultimate Home Design is looking for relatively
short, non-academic and well illustrated feature articles on recently completed new or remodeled homes,
with an emphasis on universal design.
Ultimate Home Design is reaching out to architects and the building industry in general.
As such, it presents a wonderful opportunity to make project work known in the real world.
There are no deadlines, it's simply 'first come first served', and the Editor will guide
prospective authors through the fairly rapid and simple publication process.
For more information, please contact Wolfgang Preiser
The IDEA Center Proudly Supports Global Universal Design Educators Online News
Beginning with the November/ December 2005 issue, the Global
Universal Design Educators Monthly Online News (GUDEON) is now being published with
support from the IDEA Center. The quarterly publication is produced and distributed for
the Global Universal Design Educator’s Network by Elaine Ostroff, Editor and Publisher,
and Diane Richard, Researcher and Editorial Assistant. The Network is a loose coalition
of people committed to universal design education. In addition to reaching the Network’s
300 subscribers, a link to the most recent edition of the GUDEON and its table of contents
will now be distributed to the IDEA Center’s E-Newsletter subscribers. The GUDEON will also
be translated into Japanese and reprinted in the quarterly print Universal Design Magazine.
Global Universal Design Educators Monthly Online News for their current issue.
Manage Your Subscription
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