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Project Coordinator: Victor Paquet, Sc.D.

Abstract: This project will provide new human factors information in areas in which there are critical gaps in knowledge needed for universal design. It includes a set of four studies that focus on different aspects of human performance and usability. Subproject R2.1 will study consumer product usability from a universal design perspective. Subproject R2.2 will investigate a key factor in visual performance and Subproject R2.3 will study cognitive performance, both in the context of universal design. Subproject R2.4 will examine human performance issues during extreme environmental conditions. While the ultimate goal of universal design is to consider the abilities of all in the development of products and environments, the subprojects emphasize understanding the performance of older adults. This user group provides a reasonable reference for which to test product or environmental designs, since age is associated with many different physical, sensory and cognitive limitations, and this user population will expand rapidly in the near future. In order to advance the practice of universal design, each of the subprojects is linked closely with one or more development projects in DV2 to ensure that the results translate into useful tools for designers, manufactures and builders to use in practicing universal design.

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