Adapting ADA architectural design knowledge for universal product design using association rule mining: A function based approach

Shraddha Sangelkar, Daniel A. McAdams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This paper focuses on creating guidelines for the design of products for persons with disabilities that are applicable during early stages of design. The research uses the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) to formally describe user activity, the Functional Basis to describe product function, and the actionfunction diagram as a framework to create a detailed understanding of the interaction between a user and a product. The main objective of this paper is to explore the transferability of the knowledge contained in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to universal product design. The design information contained in the ADA guidelines is abstracted using a function based approach; association rules are mined from this design information. The association rules obtained are statistically significant guidelines for universal design (UD). The existing examples of universal design are compared to their typical version to observe the design elements that improve the accessibility of a product. Association rules are also mined from the existing examples of universal design using the same methodology. Further, the applicability of ADA guidelines to universal product design is investigated based on the commonality between the association rules obtained from both the datasets. The results show that rules can be translated to a product having a degree of similarity based on the size and space relationship between the user and product without direct translation from an ADA based design guideline to a product design guideline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number071003
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design - Transactions of the ASME
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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