East Tennessee State University Engineering Technology, Surveying & Digital Media

Developing Empathy for Client Needs


Sophomore Interior Design Students in Materials and Finishes participated in a group “Simulation Exercise”.  Participants were divided into groups of three or four individuals and asked to perform activities that simulate motor and sensory changes that may accompany aging or life event changes.  They were required to perform activities of daily living (ADL).  Participants could choose to have both a hearing and mobility impairment or any other combination of impairments.  Participants were asked to perform the tasks in their “impaired state” and could not remove simulating devices until the exercise was completed.  The objective was to increase sensitivity to the feelings engendered when functional skills are impaired and independence is compromised and to increase knowledge of the physical requirements for accomplishing tasks basic to community living.