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Research Article  |   April 1991
Barrier-Free Design: A Review and Critique of the Occupational Therapy Perspective
Author Affiliations
  • Barbara Acheson Cooper, MHSC, Dip POT, is Assistant Professor, Associate Dean, and Director of the School of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, 1J 11 Health Sciences Centre, McMaster University, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8N 3Z5. She is currently enrolled in the doctoral program for environment behavior studies, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Uriel Cohen, DArch, is Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Betty Risteen Hasselkus, PhD, OTR, is Assistant Professor, Department of Therapeutic Science, and Chair, School of Occupational Therapy, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Article Information
Home Accessibility/Environmental Modification / Practice
Research Article   |   April 1991
Barrier-Free Design: A Review and Critique of the Occupational Therapy Perspective
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 1991, Vol. 45, 344-350. doi:10.5014/ajot.45.4.344
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 1991, Vol. 45, 344-350. doi:10.5014/ajot.45.4.344
Abstract

This review of the occupational therapy literature on barrier-free design identifies both a paucity of related occupational therapy research on the topic and a lack of a common conceptual base with which to guide the development and use of environmental assessments. Nonetheless, two fledgling themes can be extrapolated: the consistent reference to the concepts of accessibility, mobility, function, and safety and an increased awareness among occupational therapists regarding the accessibility standards developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) (ANSI, 1971, 1980). A problem-solving model suggested by designers for the 1979 revision of ANSI standards that incorporates these conceptual themes is described and discussed.