Abstract of Y. Danieli Lahav Lecture


Y. Danieli Lahav
Ariel University CenterIsrael

Old age people have special needs which differ from younger people's
needs, even more so when they experience disability. Disability is
defined as the loss or limitation of opportunities to take part in the
normal life of the community on an equal level with others, due to
physical or social barriers. The social model of disability claims that
disability stems from the failure of society to adjust to the needs and
aspirations of a disabled minority. If the problem lies with society and
the environment, then society and environment must change. If a
wheelchair user cannot use a bus, the bus must be redesigned. Old
people find curb ramps, elevators, accessible toilet stalls, handrails
aside staircases and many other accessibility adjustments very useful.
All of those and more can be found nowadays in any public
environment, but for a vast amount of old people they are not enough.
The gap between an old person's spatial behaviour and an ordinary
accessible environment cannot be closed by traditional adjustments
and assistive technology. The lecture will point out some of the
unsolved environmental barriers which prevent older people from
keeping an active social life, and will outline several directions for

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