DEAF SPACE AND THE VISUAL WORLD - BUILDINGS THAT SPEAK: AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF
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Deaf Space and the Visual World is a set of principles providing understanding of the perceptions and special needs of the deaf. More frequently deaf and hard of hearing school children are attending mainstream public schools, in which deaf-friendly design is not well-understood or implemented. This work analyzes these principles and applies them to the design of a mainstream elementary school at a site within the King Farm community of Rockville, Maryland.
Primarily, the ideas of establishing visual connectivity, circulation, collective being, and sense of home guided the school design. These are reflected in numerous design features of the school that will benefit not only the deaf students, but hearing and other special needs children as well. The ultimate objective of this work is to promote understanding of the needs of the deaf in educational settings, as well as to establish a useful set of architectural guidelines.