Design for disability

This was a human factors project from my third year where I interviewed a paraplegic. 

 
 
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This is michael and indy.

Michael is a law student at SU Law for disability law.

He took me through his daily routine in his apartment building, his commute to the law school, and his usual path through the building.

Michael has Indy to help him with many of his daily tasks because he has very limited arm mobility.

 
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Problem one

From my research through interviewing Michael, I learned that disability door opening buttons are inadequately designed in many cases.

I found that sometimes he had trouble hitting the accessibility door opening button. He just could not hit it hard enough because of its location on the wall.

This is currently where the buttons are allowed to to exist between. An average wheelchair seat is around 19in high, the one pictured is 17in high.

Clearly at 48in, the user must reach and extend their arm quite far. This is something Michael and others cannot easily do.

 
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Problem two

The main problem with the current accessibility buttons is their construction.

Pictured on the left is the most common button.

This button is created with only three pressure points: two in two of the corners and one in the middle. If one of these points is not engaged the door will not open.

Michael has difficulty with always engaging these due to his limited arm mobility. If he comes into contact with one of the corners without a pressure point, the door will not open.

 

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Solution one

A simple solution to these problems would be designing the buttons with pressure points in all four corners.