Faculty expertise is an important component in the Department of Interior Architecture’s maintenance of preeminent status among our peers. Assistant Professor Sarah Boehm’s expertise in design applications of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been confirmed with a new publication marking the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), entitled Equal Access, Equal Opportunity.
The publication refers to Boehm’s research regarding interior designers’ attitudes towards ADA requirements. It also mentions Boehm’s academic work with co-author Jean Sherman, director of the Center on Aging and Disabilities at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, and refers to their recommendations for “cultivating understanding of the comprehensive spirit of the ADA” from their 2013 publication in the Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities. (Source: Equal Access, Equal Opportunity, p. 83)
Professor Sarah Boehm’s research seeks to understand how abstract mindsets such as empathy and morality might lead to interior design practices that connect to humanity and ultimately improve society. Her research envisions the amalgamation of two very important research directions: socially responsible design and the built environment.
In her efforts to champion built space for those with disabilities, Boehm has conducted experimental research into understanding the factors that influence designers’ interpretation of inclusive design in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and how those elucidations are reflected in producing truly accessible environments. Boehm has published articles in Disability and Society and the Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities on the subject, and continues researching the optimal way to educate designers on the spirit of the ADA, the adoption of its core principles, and, ultimately, how designers may contribute to improving society’s attitudes towards people with disabilities.
The header image is taken from the cover of Equal Access, Equal Opportunity: 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.