Promoting Education on Inclusive Design of the Built Environment at Knust

Anthony K. Danso, Eric P. Tudzi, Dr. Kofi Kofi Agyekum1

Abstract


Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) represent the most marginalized, neglected and excluded persons in society hence the rise in the activities of various advocacy groups to ensure the inclusion of PWDs in society. One of the most sensitive areas of discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) is barriers in the built environment. This study is aimed at promoting and improving inclusive design education and disability equality in Ghana. It therefore assessed the training of the graduates at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) who later become professionals of the built environment in Ghana. To achieve the objective of the study, the Course Contents of various departments that taught courses relating to the built environment were evaluated through a survey of 259 respondents made up of 23 lecturers, 127 students, 52 design professionals of the built environment and 57 Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). The findings revealed that the curricula of most of the departments that taught built environment courses at KNUST were deficient in the principles of inclusive design. The PWDs on the other hand blamed the government and design  professionals for the inaccessible built environment. The study recommends that the present curricula of all relevant departments should be revised to incorporate elements of inclusive design and design professionals who are already practicing in the field should be given refresher courses by their respective professional bodies to make them more responsive to the changing trends of universal design.


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