2002 Conference Proceedings

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E.Esen Kaleli
Research Assistant
Hacettepe Universýty
Fine Arts Faculty
Interior & Environmental Design Section
Email: esenk@hacettepe.edu.tr 

E. Nur Asiltürk
Research Assistant
Hacettepe Universýty
Fine Arts Faculty
Interior & Environmental Design Section

There have been great improvements in information technologies and computer network in twentieth century, which is also named as technology era. Today, computers have been an important device of our daily lives. Computer usage covers a wide range from education to entertainment in daily life.

Every development in electronics, change design criteria of office spaces and create alterations in daily business life. It causes radical alterations in working systems also. Especially, in office spaces, some ergonomic interior design improvements have been made, in order to achieve a working environment compatible with electronic systems.

Today's information technologies arena, offers physically disabled people many options to participate in the mission to conquer new horizons. If we take the vast number of educated disabled people in account, it is obvious that this fact is mutually beneficial.

A plenty of organizations have been working for improvements to increase the number of physically disabled people accessing the amenities of information technologies depending on their particular needs. The main goal is to achieve convenience and to minimize the disadvantages of being disabled.

Currently there are studies on creating new employment opportunities for handicapped. Some organizations are searching for possibilities of educating the disabled, depending on their particular capabilities. In this way they would be highly productive and rate of employment will increase. They will also benefit from having a profession.

At this point, we must question ourselves. As the society cannot benefit from the physical strength of the disabled, in order to use their mental activities, working areas must provide appropriate design criteria. At this point, we have met the concept of accessibility.

'Then, what is accessibility?' Briefly, it is the convenience of usage that the building and its environment offer to people.

* How can I reach and enter the building?
* How can I move between the floors of the building?
* How can I enter the rooms?
* What kind of equipment and furniture do I have to use?

These kinds of questions are very important as giving physical answers to accessibility of handicapped. The aim of this concept is using the working environment freely and equally for everyone.

An other important concept for wheelchair-disabled people is ergonomic criteria. In working spaces, basic functions of ergonomics can be explained as the adaptation of equipment for the working people within the office environment.

In computer-aided offices, the routine movements, muscle and skeleton reactions of wheelchair disabled people have to be checked. The factors which decrease the performance and cause physical problems should be minimized. These discussion titles also provide motion economy for the wheelchair-disabled people working in the office environment.

This motion economy is composed of three basic principles, which are;

a) Education programs, which provide the usage of, body functions.
b) Design criteria for the application areas and measurements done according to antropometric characteristics of the society.
c) The principle of minimum effort and maximum performance should be considered for the design of the equipment.

With the aid of technological developments, we have equal opportunities and easy usage of the office equipment for the disabled and normal personnel. Briefly, physical normality has been a relative concept according to technological developments.

For example, a disabled person was unable to perform most activities and also unable to use some equipment before, but today, technological achievements give the opportunity of equal performance with the normal ones.

The conditions of technological convenience for the physically disabled are;

a) It must be controlled easily.
b) It must be used easily. (It must be suitable for the capacity of the user and the user should not be exhausted.)
c) Physical dimensions and location mustn't obstruct the other activities of the user.

As we conclude, the technological and ergonomic design of office equipment and furniture directly affects the performance of disabled people.


-"European Concept for Accessibility" CCPT/March 1996
-"Japan Pictorial Quarterly Magazine" Vol:18, No: 2, 1995
-"Disable, Urban and Environment Congers" Hacettepe University, Ankara, December 1996

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