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Julie Irish

Author: Heather Sauer | Image: Heather Sauer

Julie Irish, assistant professor of interior design, has received a summer research grant from the ISU Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities. For her project, “10 Years On: A Longitudinal Post-Occupancy Evaluation of a School for Students with Autism Spectrum Order and Profound Disabilities,” Irish will conduct a post-occupancy evaluation (POE) of a school for children with disabilities in Cardiff, Wales, for which she was the interior designer a decade ago.

The primary objective will be measuring the suitability of classrooms and ancillary accommodation for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This research is significant because there have been few longitudinal POEs conducted in a school for students with disabilities. Of particular interest will be the findings related to accommodation for students with ASD as scant research exists to help designers meet the unique needs of this population. The results of Irish’s POE will provide evidence-based data for professionals involved in creating schools and classrooms for students with disabilities.