Assessing a Rehabilitation Living Lab Research Project: The Meta-Analysis of an Inclusive Environment for People with Disabilities Open Access Deposited
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Date Modified: 05/23/2019
This paper presents the results of a research based Living Lab experience, where people participate together as users, researchers, stakeholders and collaborators working to effect change to improve social inclusion and social participation for persons with functional difficulties. The Rehabilitation Living Lab in the Mall (RehabMall) transforms an urban shopping mall into an interdisciplinary, multi-sectorial research platform that supports multiple projects investigating what constitutes an accessible and inclusive environment for people with physical, sensory and cognitive disabilities. We present an overview of the RehabMALL Living Lab, the contexts of the project and the project meta-analysis to present the salient issues emerging from the projects that were done. Grounded in a design research approach, and inspired by the Ecological Systems Theory of Bronfenbrenner (1979), the investigations conducted focus on subjective and inter-subjective experiences within understanding obstacles and facilitators that frame how people experience going to the mall, and how the physical, cognitive and virtual environments that support these activities might be better served. Disability is defined within the framework of the “World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning (WHO, 2003). The overview of the project is presented with particular attention to the various collaborations and partnerships created alongside the issues that emerge in terms of results, and how people might be better served when public spaces are designed with their input and within a perspective of universal design.
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