Designing for Special Needs Children

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Architects and architecture play a critical role in creating an inviting and safe atmosphere for the end user, but they are not clairvoyant about client culture. Organizations are best served and more likely to achieve their desired outcome by spending time educating designers about their organizational culture, vision and what will spell success when the project is completed.

The more information about the organization concerning outcomes and results that can be conveyed before the design phase even commences, the more likely the desired outcome will be achieved.

It was my privilege to present some of these ideas at the Texas Society of Architects in Austin.

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Designing for Special Needs Children

  1. 1. DESIGNING FOR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN Texas Society of Architects Annual Convention October 20, 2007
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION Steve Souter, AIA Managing Partner MARMON MOK
  3. 3. CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES TO ARCHITECTS Accessibility Safety Increased Independence Stimulates Mobility Provides Appropriate Privacy Encourages Interaction Provides Access to Recreation and Stimulation
  4. 4. KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL DESIGN Understand the Program Participate in Activities With the Kids Understand the Treatment Philosophy Understand the Physical and Psychological Challenges – Try to Put Yourself in Their Place
  5. 5. Unique Skills Patience and Understanding Many Facilities are Non-Profits Strong Dedication –Become Trusted Advisor Design for Family Rewarding Experiences KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL DESIGN
  6. 6. HOW WE DEVELOPED PRACTICE SPECIALIZATION Grew Out Of Healthcare Range Of Practice Opportunities Special Considerations Interest in Community Service Licensure/Certification Programs Regulatory Considerations Fundraising/Grant Process Non-Profit Boards
  7. 7. SOUTHWEST MENTAL HEALTH CENTER (SMHC)  Children’s psychiatric hospital – history dates back to 1886  SMHC is the only private non-profit children’s hospital in South Texas CASE STUDIES – TWO OF TEXAS’ MOST RECOGNIZED ORGANIZATIONS THAT PROVIDE SERVICES FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
  8. 8. CASE STUDIES – TWO OF TEXAS’ MOST RECOGNIZED ORGANIZATIONS THAT PROVIDE SERVICES FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS TEXAS LIONS CAMP (TLC)  One of the best known camping facilities for children with special needs in the U.S.  Founded in 1949, TLC provides summer camping opportunities for children who have physical disabilities, diabetes, and cancer
  9. 9. CASE STUDY #1 Geoff Gentry, PhD. Director of Clinical Services SOUTHWEST MENTAL HEALTH CENTER
  10. 10. CASE STUDY #2 Stephen S. Mabry, CFRE, CAE Executive Director TEXAS LIONS CAMP
  11. 11. THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR NON-PROFIT, NOT “NO-PROFIT” • In most instances, designing for children with disabilities means you will be working with a non- profit organization. • Non-profit does not mean that organizations described under 501 (c)(3), (c)(4), & (c)(6) are prohibited from making a profit. • Non-profit means that the earnings do not inure to the benefit of an individual or stock-holder. • Earnings will be used in pursuit of the organization’s stated mission and purpose rather than “profit.”
  12. 12. THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR NON-PROFIT, NOT “NO-PROFIT” • Currently, there are ~1.5 million non-profits in the U.S. • Aggregate annual revenues in excess of $750 Billion • Roughly 15% of the Gross National Product. • Employing an estimated 13 million people in the U.S. alone. • Annual employment growth rate of 2.5%, while their for- profit counterparts experience a 1.8% employment growth rate.
  13. 13. THE NON-PROFIT SECTOR NON-PROFIT, NOT “NO-PROFIT” • To state the obvious, a growing sector has many “growing” needs that must be professionally managed. • As architects, you are one of the most important partners our sector relies upon to ensure rapid growth results in longevity and continued health. – Current and future donors will give commensurately with their confidence in an organization. – Confidence is built after a gift is made and the administration of the gift is complete. – The mission of an organization can be enhanced (or threatened) as new buildings and construction projects emerge. • For TLC, appearance is everything. Imagine if parents came to drop off their children, and there were broken windows, dilapidated facilities and safety concerns. • Our architects are also on our front line of defense against litigation.
  14. 14. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS 515 ACRES, KERRVILLE, TEXAS
  15. 15. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS HEART OF OPERATION – DINING, SWIMMING, INFIRMARY
  16. 16. TLC AMPHITHEATRE – BEFORE Celebrating Achievement
  17. 17. TLC AMPHITHEATRE – AFTER Celebrating Achievement
  18. 18. TLC AMPHITHEATRE – AFTER Celebrating Achievement
  19. 19. TLC AMPHITHEATRE – AFTER Celebrating Achievement – Now an Organization’s Icon!
  20. 20. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS DINING HALL – FROM THIS
  21. 21. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS DINING HALL – TO THIS
  22. 22. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS DINING HALL – FROM THIS
  23. 23. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS DINING HALL – TO THIS
  24. 24. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS Accessible Boat Launch/Storage Facility
  25. 25. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS Accessible Boat Launch/Storage Facility
  26. 26. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS Accessible Boat Launch/Storage Facility
  27. 27. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS Accessible Boat Launch/Storage Facility
  28. 28. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS Accessible Boat Launch/Storage
  29. 29. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS BOARDS OF DIRECTORS
  30. 30. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS DONORS – FUEL BEHIND THE PROJECTS
  31. 31. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS DONORS – FUEL BEHIND THE PROJECTS
  32. 32. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS DONORS – FUEL BEHIND THE PROJECTS
  33. 33. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS Picnic Area
  34. 34. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS Picnic Area
  35. 35. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS Jr. Olympic - Swimming Pool
  36. 36. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS Jr. Olympic - Swimming Pool
  37. 37. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS Jr. Olympic - Swimming Pool
  38. 38. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS Jr. Olympic - Swimming Pool
  39. 39. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS KIDS ARE KIDS, ARE KIDS, ARE KIDS…
  40. 40. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS KIDS ARE KIDS, ARE KIDS, ARE KIDS…
  41. 41. TEXAS LIONS CAMP – CAMPUS Helpful Deliverables • Digital Concept Designs • Blue prints/Design elements in .pdf • Half sized blue prints • Minutes of Meetings • Web pages & digital photographs
  42. 42. DESIGN AT ITS FINEST!

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