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Authors: Aktas, Buse
Advisors: Stone, Howard A.
Contributors: Littman, Michael G.
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Class Year: 2014
Abstract: There are many challenges in designing engineering solutions for disabled individuals in the workspace. An opportunity to investigate these challenges was identified through a partnership with the Raritan Valley Workshop in New Brunswick, which is a workshop which provides supported employment services for its workers with various disabilities to assist them in becoming an active part of the workforce in their respective communities. A window latch assembly sequence, one of the jobs required from the disabled employees of the workshop, was the focus of this thesis. The assembly of the three part plastic window latch, which requires persistent fine motor skills by the workers, proves to cause pain, blisters as well as frustration. A design which involved a simple linkage-slider mechanism was designed to improve the task sequence. The amount of force and precision required from the employees was decreased while the efficiency of the process was increased by allowing multiple steps to be performed at once. One of the major findings of the interactive design process was the realization of the complexity of designing for a marginalized population in order to give them more agency. Practicing participatory design and developing a relationship based on trust was found to be a way to effectively identify and address the problems of this population which faces discrimination in the workforce.
Extent: 60 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 1924-2016

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