Development, Field Testing, and Commercialization of Accessible TentsBy Goodwin, Dianne, ME; Rovig, Sherry, BS; Kinney, Kevin, BA; Peterson, Richard, MSEE; RESNA 27th International Annual Conference 2004: Technology & Disability: Research, Design, Practice, & Policy,
Publication Date: 2004
Qualitative study conducted to evaluate prototype accessible tents created by Blue Sky Designs in St. Paul, Minnesota. Tent technology is utilized by people with varying abilities and in diverse climates, so testing was performed in campgrounds, mountainous areas, and on beaches, with consideration for people with and without disabilities. Two different tent designs were evaluated in the study: (1) the Combo, which combines a sleeping area and a usable vestibule, and (2) the Universal Vestibule, which features an accessible door. The Combo features a zipperless fan door, which requires little effort and range of motion to open and close. The prototype tent’s vestibule area is floorless, yet has sufficient room for people to sit inside. The Universal Vestibule features a sliding door, which is constructed from a piece of fabric supported by two poles, much like the construction of a kite. The tents were evaluated by 47 people, 18 of whom had disabilities. Six trips were taken in four states with five different organizations. Testing indicated that that both designs were appealing to people with and without disabilities, as easy access, convenient setup, and useful vestibule space increased the comfort and usability for everyone. Implications for tent commercialization are discussed.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)