Date
25 August 2019

Consider mobility needs and flexible options to support equitable access, navigation, and full participation

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Designing and configuring flexible learning spaces to support the full participation and engagement of all students’

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Reduce physical barriers

Reduce physical barriers

Wide ramps and double doors ensure easy access for all. Build ramps to support equitable and predictable access to internal and external environments from the outset.

Future-proof equitable access

Future-proof equitable access

Plan for the diverse mobility needs of your learners and your community from the outset.

Key considerations include:

  • unisex accessible toilets, positioned around the school for both adults and children
  • outdoor play areas designed for students of varying sizes and weights, that can be accessed by students using wheelchairs or other mobility aids
  • adjustable working surfaces, such as lab stations, desks, and workbenches, that students can adjust to the height required 
  • an area with no curbing for pick-up and drop-off 
  • vertical access to all areas of the school, supported by ramps and if needed, lifts 
  • motion-sensitive main entrance doors
  • a low front desk in the reception area where children and people with wheelchairs can easily be seen and welcomed
  • corridors and doorways that are wide enough for wheelchair users
  • height of windows and windows in doors, enabling wheelchair users to see through.

Source: Teaching and learning environments to support students with special education needs or disabilities (opens in a new tab/window)

Maintain predictable pathways

Maintain predictable pathways

Maintain predictable, accessible pathways for circulation within and between learning spaces.

Consider those with visual and mobility needs.

Support access and engagement

Support access and engagement

Consider window shades, lighting, and seating to optimise conditions for visual communication. Use diffused lighting to reduce glare and eyestrain.

Ease of movement

Ease of movement

Smooth surfaces, ramps, and the width of corridors and doorways are especially important for wheelchair users. These design features support parents pushing buggies and moving equipment easily.

Useful resources

Useful resources

File

How physical disabilities can influence learning

Read time: 1 min

Publisher: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Download PDF (696 KB)

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Design for all from the outset”:

Return to the guide “Planning innovative learning environments (ILEs)”

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