Built environment education in universal design

Adults seated at tables in a classroom setting looking forward to the instructor at the front of the room. Built environment education in universal design. Seems training and education in universal design for built environment professionals has some barriers. And then there are barriers to implementation. Universal Design Teaching in Architectural Education, discusses a model for universal design teaching in architecture schools and presents ideas for setting up universal design courses.

Planning – Design Training and Universal Design argues that universal design concepts should be incorporated into all departments that offer planning and design training. Suggestions for inclusion in higher education study programs are included. 

Engineering diversity and inclusion

Two men in hard hats are crouching on a large concrete floor. They look like they are discussing something. Engineering diversity and inclusion?The American Society of Civil Engineers says they have work to do on diversity and inclusion within their workforce and the people they design for. The focus of the Special Collection Announcement publication is about educating engineers. 

This special collection did not receive any submissions about disability or socio-economic status. Clearly this needs to be addressed in the future so that all aspects of diversity are discussed. 

You can see all abstracts to papers in this collection in the journal’s library link. There are papers on educating engineering students, encouraging women in engineering, and university workplace strategies.

A more recent paper titled, Human Factors Engineering: Designing for Diversity and Accessibility says they are failing on inclusion. You will need institutional access for a free read. 

From the abstract

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee continues to encourage the society, and human factors professionals, to improve diversity and equity within the field. At the center of this field are humans and their widely varying needs and abilities.

While HFE professionals devote themselves to these needs, their details are often overlooked to design for an assumed majority of users. These assumptions then lead users to be rejected by products, systems, or objects. This rejection indicates a lack of accessibility, which affects millions worldwide. In this panel, experts in the areas of universal design, healthcare, and accessible design will discuss how to “do” accessibility while demonstrating that accessibility should be considered a required component of usability.

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