CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

authors Maver, T., Harrison, C. and Grant, M.
year 2001
title Virtual Environments for Special Needs. Changing the VR Paradigm
source Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures [ISBN 0-7923-7023-6] Eindhoven, 8-11 July 2001, pp. 151-159
summary The normal application of Virtual Reality is to the simulation of environments, which are in some way special - remote, hazardous or purely imaginary. This paper describes research and development work which changes the paradigm by simulating perfectly ordinary buildings for special people. Some 15% of the population have some form of physical impairment - a proportion which is likely to rise in line with an ageing population. New legislation, such as the UK Disability Discrimination Act places additional responsibility on building owners to ensure adequate access for people with an impairment and this in turn will place additional responsibility on the architect. Current methods of auditing access for new building are primitive and require the auditor to interpret plans/sections of the proposed building against a checklist of requirements specific to the special need. This paper reports on progress in the use of an immersive VR facility to simulate access to buildings for two broad classes of user: i) those with a mobility impairment; ii) those with visual impairment. In the former case, a wheelchair motion platform has been designed which allows the wheelchair user to navigate the virtual building; a brake and motor connected to the rollers on which the wheelchair sits facilitate the effects of slope and surface resistance. In the latter case, the main categories and degrees of visual impairment can be simulated allowing architects to assess the contribution of form, colour and signage to safe access.
keywords Virtual Reality, Mobility Impairment, Visual Impairment, Access, Simulation
series CAAD Futures
email t.w.maver@strath.ac.uk
full text file.pdf (354,726 bytes)
references Content-type: text/plain
details citation check to select
100%; open ABACUS (2000) Find in CUMINCAD Virtual Reality Simulation Access to Buildings by People with a Visual Impairment , Grant Application to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, September 2000
100%; open Harrison, C. (et al.) (2000) Find in CUMINCAD Development of a Wheelchair Virtual Reality Platform for Use in Evaluating Wheelchair Access , 3rd International Conference on Disability, Virtual Reality and Associated Technologies, Sardinia, September 2000, pp. 1-8

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