Design professionals and the built environment: encountering boundaries 20 years after the Americans with Disabilities Act

Sarah Sherman, Jean Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article posits that although it has been 20 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a continuing tension remains between truly understanding and protecting the rights of people with disabilities and eliminating discrimination via the design of the built environment. Focus group and interview findings document the expressed and contradictory attitudes of practicing interior designers. This article demonstrates that although interior designers apply ADA design and construction guidelines as required by US laws and generally concede its universal benefits, the majority have not adopted the underlying spirit of the landmark civil rights law. Since interior designers ignore the essence of the ADA, the large scale use of non-discriminatory practices in the design of the built environment has progressed little during these two decades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-64
Number of pages14
JournalDisability and Society
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • built environment
  • disabilities
  • interior design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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