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Author Salmi, Patricia
Title Identifying and evaluating critical environmental wayfinding factors for adults with intellectual disabilities
Descript 267 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 68-03, Section: A, page: 0764
Adviser: Denise Guerin
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Minnesota, 2007
While much knowledge has been gained about wayfinding for the general population (Lawton, 1996; O'Neill, 1991a; Passini, 1984), little is known about wayfinding for persons with intellectual disabilities. This exploratory study's focus was on the topic of wayfinding for adults with intellectual disabilities and the degree to which they were able to access the cues in the built environment during a wayfinding task. Prior to the study, the selected environments were evaluated for wayfinding quality by a group of university students
The study used the environmental preference theory and select constructs as a framework. Using an interview protocol and observation, ten adults with mild-to-moderate intellectual disabilities were asked to wayfind to a specific destination in each of two unfamiliar settings, a regional shopping mall and a large government office building. During the activity, participants were asked to verbally express what they were using to wayfind; participants' verbalizations were tape-recorded and their actions noted, as were length of time and distance traveled to complete the task for each location. Use of wayfinding cues was observed and measured. Additionally, participants were observed as to their preferred wayfinding strategy and the influence that participants' prior experience with similar settings had on successful completion of the wayfinding task
Wayfinding variables found to be important to wayfinding included the physical cues of spatial organization, signage, and landmarks, and sensory variables of smells/odors, and environmental control and safety. With varying degrees of success, participants also used maps, directories, and human sources of information. Prior experience with settings similar to those used in the study was found to be influential in relation to success rates. It was also found that the majority of participants combined linear and orientation strategies when solving a wayfinding task, a finding that from a previous study fording (Salmi, 2002) that confirms the necessity of providing both linear and orientation wayfinding cues in the built environment
School code: 0130
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 68-03A
Subject Design and Decorative Arts
Alt Author University of Minnesota
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