Psychometric Testing of Shopping Mall Universal Design Assessment Tool (SM-UD)
Keywords:Universal Design, Shopping malls, Sulaymaniyah city, assessment tool.
While there are people with disability live in Kurdish parts of Iraq, a very limited number of buildings are properly designed to serve these people. Considering the challenges that people with disability face in public buildings, the United Nations has recommended the implementation of the Universal Design (UD) principles in public buildings in Iraq to ensure that all people could have access to the public buildings regardless of their abilities and backgrounds. Hence, there is a need to gather pertinent data by assessing the adherence of shopping malls in this part of Iraq to the Universal Design (UD) principles given the role of the facilities to the locals. The present study aims to develop a tool for assessing whether the shopping malls in Sulaymaniyah city adhere to Universal Design principles. An analytical tool, which was abbreviated as SM-UD, was developed using a wide range of shopping mall design elements. The tool was tested for reliability and validity through several statistical tests. Besides, the tool was tested for practicality and communicability in six different shopping malls of Sulaymaniyah. The reliability and validity test indicate that the majority of items showed good to excellent reliability and fair to excellent validity. The results of using the tool show that it is capable of identifying the drawbacks of shopping malls in terms of their universality of design. The proposed tool appears ready to be used by shopping malls’ managers and researchers.
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