In June, 2001, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Research Center (RERC) on Universal Design at SUNY, Buffalo held an international workshop on human factors research. Sponsored in part by the Board, the workshop brought together a number of experts in anthropometry, data analysis, and disability research. The purpose of this conference was to generate innovative ideas and approaches for collecting, analyzing, and applying human factors data on persons with disabilities to better inform the design of the built environment and communications. Lois Thibault, the Boardís Coordinator of Research, outlined the objectives of the conference in a key note address and called attention to the need to improve the knowledge base used in the development of accessibility codes and standards.
Twenty papers were presented on various aspects of this kind of research, including the current state of knowledge, effective sampling strategies, structural measurement methods, functional anthropometry, data handling and analysis, human modeling in computer aided design (CAD), and impacts on design. A report on the papers presented at the workshop is posted on the RERC on Universal Design website. The report describes advances in the state of the art in anthropometry, the challenges of measuring people with disabilities and recommendations made by the experts at the workshop. For more information, contact A.J. Imiolo at email@example.com or (716) 829-3485 (x 336).
Diversity in the anthropometrics of people with mobility impairments suggests a new focus on range rather than individual metrics, and on extremes rather than averages. New opportunities in technology make adjustability, portability, and redundancy not only possible but feasible as approaches to the design of new environments, with assistive technology filling a narrowing gap. Expressing these new data electronically can give designers the tools they need to test the usability of alternative schemes.
from "Disability Antrhopometrics: A Research Userís Dilemma"