A new program at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), Designing for Accessibility, taps into the imaginations of industrial design and occupational therapy faculty and students to develop assistive devices to help others in need.
The program connects East Falls industrial design students with occupational therapy faculty and students at the Center City campus, who provide feedback on the viability of students’ concepts based on the clinicians’ knowledge and experience with patients. One example of many collaborations is a microwave prototype designed for the elderly. It has a removable, washable insert, simplified controls, a display with large numbers and a cook-time limit of six minutes to prevent overcooking and fires.
Designing for Accessibility provides students with real-world feedback on concepts that promise to improve the lives of those needing help in accomplishing everyday tasks.