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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8157-8171; doi:10.3390/ijerph120708157

Working with Policy and Regulatory Factors to Implement Universal Design in the Built Environment: The Australian Experience

1,†
,
1,†,* , 1,†
and
2,†
1
School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Geelong Waterfront Campus, Locked Bag 20001, Geelong 3220, Australia
2
School of Architecture and Built Environment, Deakin University, Geelong Waterfront Campus, Locked Bag 20001, Geelong 3220, Australia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wendy Stav
Received: 1 June 2015 / Accepted: 10 July 2015 / Published: 15 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Therapies and Human Well-Being)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [668 KB, uploaded 15 July 2015]

Abstract

Built environments that are usable by all provide opportunities for engagement in meaningful occupations. However, enabling them in day to day design processes and practice is problematic for relevant professions. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to gain greater understanding of the policy and regulatory influences that promote or hinder the uptake of universal design in built environments, to inform better future design. Focus groups or telephone interviews were undertaken with 28 key building industry and disability stakeholders in Australia. Four themes were identified: the difficulties of definition; the push or pull of regulations and policy; the role of formal standards; and, shifting the focus of design thinking. The findings highlight the complexity of working within policy and regulatory contexts when implementing universal design. Occupational therapists working with colleagues from other professions must be aware of these influences, and develop the skills to work with them for successful practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: universal design; occupational therapy; architecture; policy; built environment universal design; occupational therapy; architecture; policy; built environment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Larkin, H.; Hitch, D.; Watchorn, V.; Ang, S. Working with Policy and Regulatory Factors to Implement Universal Design in the Built Environment: The Australian Experience. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 8157-8171.

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