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Title: Blind spot : an investigation into lifetime home standards and visual impairment
Author: Rooney, C.
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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This study seeks to investigate how lifetime home standards (LTHS) and lifetime homes can become more inclusive of the needs of visually impaired people in the context of Northern Ireland (N!). The research aims to contribute to architectural knowledge and investigates the experiences of key stakeholders, including visually impaired building users, on the subject of lifetime homes. LTHS consist of sixteen design standards that aim to reduce the need to adapt the home as its occupants grow older. It has become apparent in the course of this study, that the requirements of building users with visual impairment are not sufficiently accommodated within LTHS, with the research instead suggesting that their focus to date concentrates primarily on aiding those with mobility impairment. A mixed method research approach is utilised comprising qualitative methodologies underpinned by Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis and on-site surveys. The research demonstrates that lifetime homes in NI could become more inclusive of visually impaired people by improving the allocation process, the increased use of Post-Occupancy Evaluations (POEs) and the design of housing in NI. Although findings generally indicate that LTHS have a positive effect on occupants' lives, it is clear that there are also housing allocation and design challenges. Subsequently, changes are recommended for practice with a view to improving the inclusiveness of lifetime homes in the context of this thesis. The research establishes a requirement to revise existing space standards and current Department of Social Development policies which contradict L THS. This study also proposes future research to revise the existing Evolve-for Vision 9hecklist and to integrate it alongside current LTHS to introduce a more effective POE tool. The implications of these findings demonstrate the need for policy makers, sensory support teams and architects to make changes in practice to meet the needs of visually impaired people in the home.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available