Wayfinding in an Educational Facility Comparing Handicapper and Non-Handicapper Perception and Behavior: Part II

Roberta L. Kilty-Padgett

DOI: 10.2190/XUV4-GN4A-L43Q-JV6U


This report addresses use and meaning in relation to wayfinding in the Chatterjee Communication Arts and Sciences (CAS) building at Michigan State University. An approximately equal number of handicappers with mobility handicaps (N = 16) and non-handicappers (N = 20) volunteered to follow building scenarios prior to questionnaire completion. Additionally, sixty-one randomly chosen building users were interviewed in a shorter version of the questionnaire to reflect everyday facility usage. The multimethod technique described includes code checklist, scenario instructions and interview questions. No significant differences in wayfinding or building performance based on opinions and behavior of handicappers and non-handicappers were found. Building familiarity was not a critical factor. Using backtrack frequency as the indicator of lostness, 97 percent of all scenario participants became lost at least once. Difficulties in finding specific destinations centered around the adequacy of information provided by building form, directories, signage, and receptionist(s).

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