Technical -Vocational Institute for the physically disabled: An examination of conflicting design requirements for people with mobility impairments.

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With the increasing world population paralleled by an increasing number of disabled people, more focus has been on the accessibility needs of people with disabilities in the society to ensure that their specific requirements are not ignored. Widely supported concepts such as universal design brought about by the fight for social inclusion of the disabled has had its own merits and problems. Experience gained by some designers in efforts to design for a wider-user group has revealed some design challenges. This research therefore takes a look at some accessibility conflicts resulting from the use of accessibility features and products by two or more groups within the disability circle which has the likelihood of affecting the mobility impaired person. A preamble to this research takes a look at some of the problem-solving approaches to issues on disability. The literature review takes a look at some of the possible accessibility conflicts discovered by some designers over the years and makes a comparative study from the historical point of view. Data sources to verify the existence of some of these conflicts were gained through case studies of some selected institutions and interviews. Discussions on some manageable solutions to architectural inconveniences which are unconsciously created in attempts to design for wider user-groups of disabled people reveals the significance of a biological, psychological and social approach to designing for the disabled. Lesson drawn from the studies helped in developing the concept and philosophy towards the design of a technical-vocational institute for the mobility impaired. The design which is described in details is intended to serve as a positive architectural model that reinforces the need of accessible environments which can serve the need of a wider group of persons in any mobility impairment domain.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Architecture,Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture.