Six Feelings Framework

six head icons in a row each with one of the six feelings.A sense of belonging is an aspect of universal design not often discussed. However, when it comes to including people with autism in plans and designs, it’s a very important element. Ohio State University has developed a guide which covers urban design, retail, parks, campuses and more. It’s got everything in detail. It is underpinned with the six feelings framework:

1. Feel connected – because they are easily reached, entered, and/or lead to destinations.
2. Feel free – because they offer relative autonomy and the desired spectrum of independence.
3. Feel clear – because they make sense and do not confuse.
4. Feel private – because they offer boundaries and provides retreat.
5. Feel safe – because they diminish the risk of being injured.
6. Feel calm – because they mitigate physical sensory issues associated with autism.

The guide is based on extensive research and it is recommended that:

♦ City and regional planners activity accommodates people with autism in their public involvement process.
♦ City and regional planners implement autism standards building on this 1.0 attempt into their zoning and design guidelines, and consider policy changes.
♦ Professionals in affiliated fields who have concern over the public realm test, retest, and improve the ideas in this toolkit.
♦ Civil engineers retrofit infrastructure around the Six Feelings Framework.
♦ Real estate developers who are designing master planned communities consider the Six Feelings Framework in their plans. 

There are more articles on designing with autism in mind on this website. Use the search facility on the left hand menu.

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