Bryan Bell Jr
Students and faculty at NC State University have partnered with orientation and mobility instructors as well as students of the Governor Morehead School for the Blind to identify barriers of accessibility on their campus and around the local community. With these stakeholders actively participating, research was conducted into new ideas that were tested through a process of engagement, listening, and prototype-testing with users. A creative and new approach to orientation and mobility training has been developed which are three-dimensional maps with a new tactile language and corresponding three-dimensional sidewalk mats. This project would take these prototypes into campus installation as well as planning for a wider city use.
For blind and low vision people, lack of spatial awareness is one of the biggest impediments to independent travel. Students and faculty at NC State University have partnered with orientation and mobility instructors as well as students of the Governor Morehead School for the Blind to identify barriers of accessibility on their campus and around the local community. Ideas that were tested through a process of engagement, listening, and prototype-testing with users. A creative and new approach to orientation and mobility training has been developed which are three-dimensional maps with a new tactile language and corresponding three-dimensional sidewalk mats. This project includes three phases that can each provide impact performance measurements: 1. Participatory co-creation of the final 3-D maps and installation of tactile sidewalks on the GMS campus. 2. Integration of the tactile map and sidewalks into the curriculum at the Governor Morehead School. 3. The stakeholder engagement/planning process for Phase 2 expansion to Dix Park and Pullen Park
The Governor Morehead School (GMS) is the flagship school in North Carolina that serves the special needs of the visually impaired, in a unique residential setting. School-age students live on campus during the week and are taught through a Student Life curriculum. This curriculum extends beyond the classroom to teach students functional living skills through independent living, recreational, and behavioral activities. In doing so, students are taught not only academics but also how to navigate the environment around them. By integrating residential and academic settings, students are allowed to grow, flourish, and achieve greater self-fulfillment by learning in the environment. Integrated education provides the same opportunities and experiences for blind children as those who are sighted with the hopes to change the public response to blindness. On-campus, students can learn academics and how to navigate their environment while being surrounded by a knowledgeable support system. The School seeks to encourage all students to strive for the highest levels of educational excellence and integrity in all of lifeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s endeavors. NC State has worked closely in partnership with the school to assess their needs and, after identifying a project with them, design a playground for these students. The design will provide a variety of play and learning experiences to accommodate all ages and abilities. From the GMS staff: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe current playground structures are so old and rusted, and they are hard to get around and find things when you have little or no vision. The students are so excited that they will finally have a playground that will be educational and exciting, and that they can easily access in a safe way due to the proposed colors, textures, and materials.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â The existing playground poses many challenges for the students. The first being the lack of interest in most of the existing equipment. The majority of students only use the swing set over the monkey bars or slide. In addition, the swing set is not up to the current standards of care. Aside from the equipment, the mulch surfacing of the playground poses drainage problems and usability problems. While the children are playing, they often lose their canes in the mulch after setting them down to play. To address the current issues we have redesigned the playground into environmental mobility and learning zones.
The Public Interest Design graduate architecture studio at NCSUÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s College of Design explores methods of how design can address the critical issues faced by communities. Students are engaged in incubating a real community-based project. The assignments demonstrate how public interest design can enhance traditional design education and skills and how this emerging sector can be a meaningful part of project practice. The design process is focused on a triple bottom line evaluation called the Social/Economic/Environmental Design (SEED) Evaluator which supports a holistic, creative approach to design driven by community needs. In the case of the proposed Fall 2019 studio, students will learn about the on-going crisis in rural healthcare delivery taking place across the country. With reports that as many as 600 rural hospitals are vulnerable to closure in the United States, this crisis will continue to affect our rural populations. Lower incomes and higher rates of uninsured people in poor, rural areas (such as Eastern North Carolina) lead to higher levels of uncompensated care. And, lack of access to healthcare education contributes to unhealthy lifestyles and habits.