Introducing assistive technologies (AT) into the existing homes of older people
Bright, K., Flanagan, S., Goodacre, K. and Lansley, P. (2003) Introducing assistive technologies (AT) into the existing homes of older people. In: Include 2003, Royal College of Art, London.
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The design of accessible environments, for use by all, is a legal requirement for all public buildings, under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA, 1995) since October 1999 and the removal of all physical barriers becomes enforceable in 2004. Accessibility has transferred from being a social and moral issue to a legal requirement. The Research Group for Inclusive Environments at the University of Reading undertakes research to better understand methods to make the built environment more accessible. This paper presents the findings from the research project, Project Crystal, investigating the design of environments for better communication for deaf and hard of hearing people. At the last COBRA conference the preliminary findings from the pilot questionnaire were presented. During the year the questionnaire has been distributed more widely and a test environment has been used to investigate the effects the variables of lighting and colour have on people's ability to communicate. This paper will present some of the findings from the project, which is almost complete, and generalise on the effect wall surface design has on accessibility of an environment for people with a hearing impairment.