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TOWARDS INCLUSIVE CAMPUS ENVIRONMENTS: EVIDENCE-BASED RESEARCH OF A UNIVERSITY CAMPUS

Abstract
By : Evrim Demir Mishchenko

 
Planning and design of university campuses is as important as the instructional philosophy of universities for determining academic and social development of university students. However, mainstream university campuses have often been designed with typical “normal” or “abled” users in mind and have neglected the needs of students with physical, sensory, and developmental disabilities. Universal design perspective with its equality, social inclusion and social justice agenda can be helpful in giving insights for inclusive educational environments. This study presents a research based design process conducted at a university campus in Turkey to create an inclusive educational environment for the students with disabilities, and to improve their participation in campus’ academic and social life. For this purpose, existing campus spaces were evaluated for their inclusiveness both objectively through a checklist and subjectively through participatory workshops and meetings. The findings from both studies were used to identify the needs of the users with disabilities in the campus’ settings. The results obtained from these studies were used to inform the implementations , and a holistic plan for creating an inclusive campus environment was developed. This study provides the implications for architectural and urban needs of users with physical, sensory, and vision disabilities or restraints in campus environments, develops methodology for future studies with similar context, and informs about the challenges and opportunities present in the process of creating inclusive university campus environments..
Keywords: University Campuses, Students with Disabilities, Participation, Universal Design, Inclusivity.

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