Architecture challenges in attaining a complete education cycle for people with disabilities
AbstractBackground: Education is continuing to develop different academic roles and services to meet the needs of society. The important value of education is more underlined in their built environment when they were supposed to undertake careful designs to avoid non-accessibility among space users. They also aim to create a good, efficient, and safe environment inside their premises. The built environment is a severe share of people with disabilities (PWDs)* attendance and continuation of the educational cycle. Objectives: Exploring the preparedness of the educational built environment in Kosovo for the PWD's accessibility concerning building design modifications when ensuring adequate education, socialization, and a safe environment. Consequently, it reveals the contrasting ways architects and educational institutions outline and design for PWDs, and the range of doubtful models and approaches they bring to bear upon processes of architectural production and designing for PWDs (Hall et al., 1999). Furthermore, to understand the importance of architecture as one of the main factors influencing the education cycle of PWDs. Finally, and most importantly, how architecture causes this journey to stop. Methods: The descriptive research method's survey, observation, and case study approach helps investigate the topic more in-depth and multi-sided. The research is conducted in all four educational levels: preschool, elementary school, high school, and higher education institutions. Conclusions: All four educational levels (preschool, elementary school, high school, university/college) showcase more or less the same physical barriers, but what needs to be noted is that the higher education facilities foster more PWDs accessibility than preschool or elementary school. Nevertheless, it is of utmost importance that the first levels of educational facilities have fulfilled the universal design standards, thus not discontinuing the educational cycle from the beginning and creating involuntary isolation and social non-inclusion. As a result, it will further influence thinking and how architects design in their practice besides sharing Kosovo's experience. The concept deals with the recommendations proposed on two scenarios for the Kosovo relevant institutions, the architect’s community and educational institutions.
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