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Designing for teenagers with disability

Teenagers with disability need facilities and spaces that suit their physical, social, emotional and intellectual or cognitive development.

How it can help

Sometimes the physical development and age of a teenager with disability can lead other people to make wrong assumptions about their development and needs.

When designing a room or area, it can help to think about a teenager’s development, their capacity for improving skills, their needs, preferences and ability.

What it is

Think about spaces and items for a teenager, not only a young child.

Design features

These design features were identified by parents, staff and architects.

Bigger spaces for older students

Create spaces that are flexible and can be made to fit older and larger students.

A place where teenagers can hang out

Set up an outdoor area that’s separate from the younger children and students. Include some chairs and tables, as well as space for people who use wheelchairs. This will give space and opportunity for teenagers with disability to hang out with other teens of similar age.

A safe place to use tools and equipment

Easy access to tools and equipment can help teenagers to become more independent. Living skills can be learnt with hands-on practical experience. All of this can help teenagers:

  • learn how to maintain and assemble equipment, like bikes
  • pick up gardening skills
  • find out how to use the things in kitchens and laundries.

Equipment suited to teenagers

Set up equipment that is suited to activities for teenagers. You could look for teenage-specific swings, exercise and sports equipment. Talk to the students and their families to see what they need and would like to use.

Contact

Ministerial Advisory Committee: Children and Students with Disability

Phone: (08) 8226 3632
Email: decdminadv [at] sa.gov.au