Lawrence Technological University
College of Arts and Science
Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences

Handouts

Designing for Accessibility

A proposed course by Lisa M. Anneberg Ph.D. and John M. Miller M.D.

Overview
This is a new course for the Fall of 2005, about the process of design, intended for all students of engineering and computer science. The course will consider both physical and electronic access to the work place and university for people with disabilities. It is directed at any student who has completed Introduction to Engineering and Pre-Calculus.
Rationale
  1. In the 15 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act the public policy has become so complex a course is needed.
  2. The number of designers covered by public policy is rapidly expanding. The designer's defense, "I was just following the client's specifications," in the case where the design is not compliant with public policy, is increasingly obsolete.
  3. The design solutions from computer science, architecture, mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering are sufficiently diverse and numerous that a course is needed.
Proposal Format
This proposal is in a format that tries to be accessible. The meaning is in the words and not the whitespace or fonts. There are no decorations. The proposal is also designed to gather student input for the course designers and share that input with the grant committee. Finally, the proposal assembles a mailing list of interested students.
Course Outline
  1. Introduction to the relevant public policy.
  2. Review of the process of design.
  3. Safety for the disabled.
  4. Problem I: A wheelchair encounters steps.
  5. Problem II: Vision impairment encounters a monitor.
  6. Problem III: Hearing impairment encounters a fire alarm.
  7. Problem IV: Selected by the students.
Texts and References
Much of the material for this course is on-line. The main reference site is of course www.access-board.gov. Concerning access to electronic communications, the book Constructing Accessible Web Sites by Jim Thatcher, Paul Bohman, Michael Burks, Shawn Lawton Henry, Bob Regan, Sarah Swierenga, Mark D. Urban, Cynthia D. Waddell (Publisher, Glasshaus ISBN 1-904151-00-0), would be a valuable addition to the student's library.
Equipment
The LTU standard laptop with a small amount of added OpenSource software, e.g. the Lynx Web browser.
Evaluation
There will be an on-line pre-test available, both to those who take the course and to those who do not. The quizzes and final exam will also be on-line. Individual progress on the core concepts will be available to the student. Aggregate progress will be available to the department chairs.

Your suggestions are appreciated. Please use this on-line form:

The Womens' Restroom on the main floor of the Science Building was brought into compliance with the 1990 ADA
in 1990, in 1995, in 2000, or in 2005.

I have not yet taken Intro to Engineering.
I am taking Intro to Engineering now.
I have already taken Intro to Engineering.

I am a freshman, a sophomore, a junior, a senior, a graduate, or an instructor.

I would take a course like this.
I would not take a course like this.

Please enter your comments and suggestions in the box below

Optionally, your name

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your suggestions. Thank you, Lisa M. Anneberg Ph.D., John M. Miller M.D.

the accumulated suggestions and tabulated results of the survey.

Revised January 27, 2005