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Development Of An Interdisciplinary Service Learning Pilot Project Incorporating Universal Design Concepts For Ada Compliance

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Project-Based Student Learning: Part I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count

7

Page Numbers

14.478.1 - 14.478.7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/5169

Download Count

26

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Paper Authors

biography

Donald Richter Eastern Washington University

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DONALD C. RICHTER obtained his B. Sc. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from The Ohio State University, M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Arkansas. He holds a Professional Engineer license and worked as an Engineer and Engineering Manger in industry for 20 years before teaching. His interests include project management, robotics /automation, parametric modeling and rapid prototyping.

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biography

William Loendorf Eastern Washington University

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William R. Loendorf is currently an Associate Professor of Engineering & Design at Eastern Washington University. He obtained his B.Sc. in Engineering Science at the University of Wisconsin - Parkside, M.S. in Electrical Engineering at Colorado State University, M.B.A. at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, and Ph.D. in Engineering Management at Walden University. He holds a Professional Engineer license and has 30 years of industrial experience as an Engineer or Engineering Manager at General Motors, Cadnetix, and Motorola. His interests include engineering management, real-time embedded systems, and digital signal processing.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Development of an Interdisciplinary Service Learning Pilot Project Incorporating Universal Design Concepts for ADA Compliance

Abstract

Engineering and Engineering Technology students need to become more socially aware and learn to think of the entire population that may use the products or equipment they design. One of the main objectives of this project is to demonstrate how products can be designed to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and usable by all people. The concept of Universal Design has emerged as a key component of this effort. Universal Design involves the entire process from its conception to end use, thinking more inclusively of the entire population including those with disabilities. This paper describes a pilot project being developed to teach these new Universal Design concepts within the confines of a senior design project for Engineers and Engineering Technology undergraduate students. The students would participate in undergraduate research that has a service learning component while studying the principles of Universal Design. This paper describes how through the use of these types of projects a whole new generation of engineers could be trained to better serve our entire population by applying the components of Universal Design. This paper further discusses how this pilot development project could be a model for other universities to incorporate in their degree programs to enhance both the education of the student and the public awareness of how engineers can enhance the lives of people.

Introduction

Engineering and Engineering Technology students spend years studying how to design products of all sizes, shapes, and descriptions. They learn that during the design process many factors are considered including economic, features, style, standards, safety, ecological, and other issues. However, the unique needs of the ultimate user of the product are often neglected. Products are merely designed for the "average user." This makes use of the product awkward, difficult, or even impossible for many members of the general population.

The over used expression "ease of use" may best describe the problem. This phrase implies that the product is easy for everyone to use. Nevertheless, almost everyone has discovered that it is a relative term based on a person's knowledge, skill, and ability. What is easy for some people to accomplish may be hard or not even possible for others. It is all too common for users to get frustrated while trying to make a product work as advertised and simply quit using it or return it to the store. Frequently the user has no alternative and must continue to struggle with it no matter how difficult, cumbersome, or unwieldy it may be.

In reality, designing a product that can be used by all people is not a simple task. The solution to this dilemma is to design products that can be used by people with a wide range of abilities. It is important to remember that regardless of how well a product is designed, some people will never be able to use it. Physical or mental restrictions will come into play and limit its use. However, it

Richter, D., & Loendorf, W. (2009, June), Development Of An Interdisciplinary Service Learning Pilot Project Incorporating Universal Design Concepts For Ada Compliance Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5169

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015