Angelman Syndrome – how can the built environment offer inclusion?

  • The paper aims to highlight the needs of individuals with Angelman Syndrome within the built environment as a means of maximising inclusion and promoting quality of life. Collaborative relationships between home, school and disability services lead to higher academic achievements, positive attitudes, improved behaviour and more successful intervention programs. If we consider inclusion in terms of the built environment rather than interventional programs, the following four clinical features of Angelman Syndrome can be considered important with regard to inclusion and participation: mobility; severe developmental delay / intellectual disability; limited self-help skills; and seizure activity. In terms of individuals with Angelman Syndrome and the broad range of disability types associated with the condition, all aspects of the built environment need to be considered. While planning regulations / legislation aim to promote accessibility in the built environment, discrimination is still a reality. The paper will discuss how the built environment can be designed to be sympathetic to the inherent needs of individuals with Angelman Syndrome and in turn improve quality of life and participation in the community through simple features.

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