This washer is particular designed for the physical disabled group who has to use wheelchairs to move around and the also the elderly female group at age of 70 or older. We used the data from the United Nations Accessibility website to measure the combined height of the wheelchair and the disabled person’s shoulder height, the lowest reaching height, and the reaching distance. We also used the data from the Anthropometric measurements report for measuring the height of the elderly female. This design will allow the two groups (Elder female and disabled) of people feel comfortable when they are using the washer. Even though they are not as flexible as young adults, but they will still enjoy using this washer. The reason that they could easily use this model of washer for washing their clothes is because they can operate the machine without any obstacles that they might have in other model of washer.
Detailed Design Recommendations:
We will first explain how we decide on the dimensions of the washer. The height of the washer is designed for the 10th percentile of disabled group, which is around 38”. According to the data from the UN website, as we could see in Figure 1, we have the average combined height of the wheelchair and the disabled person’s shoulder height is around 40 inches. However, we considered that in order for most disabled people to reach the buttons which are located on the top of the washer without raising their hands (a comfortable level for pressing the buttons), we decided to have dimension design for 10 percentile. In addition, the elderly female group where average height is 59.92 inches would feel more comfortable than the regular washer whose height is averaged at 40.69 inches, since the regular washer is designed for people in their early ages. The depth of the washer is based on the reaching distance of the disabled group on a wheelchair, so they could reach the far back of the machine without getting off their wheelchairs. We used again 10th percentile for this design, as we could see the range of the reaching distance in Figure 2, which is from 0.71 to 0.92 meter, with converted mean of 32”. That makes the 10th percentile approximately 30”. The elderly female group will also be able to reach the end of the machine at this dimension. The width of the washer machine is the average of a typical washer, which is around 25”. The two groups will be able to reach the left and right end of the machine when they are picking up their clothes. Last but not least, the dimension for the lowest reaching height is very important for the disabled group. When physical disabled people try to reach the bottom of the washing space to grab the clothes, it is hard to them the pick up if the design of the bottom of the space is too low. As we could see in Figure 1, the lowest reaching height is ranged from 0.26 to 0.45 meters, which results in an average height to be around 15”. We couldn’t accommodate the person with the shortest arm in this case because of the limit space of the washer machine. If we design the height of lowest reaching to be higher, there will not be enough space for the machine to operate. In this case, the shortest arm person will have to bend a little bit (around 1 to 2 inches), which would not be too much.
Figure 1 (Dimensions in meters, being converted in the report)
Figure 2: Reaching Distance
Washer layouts and recommendations:
Firstly, we recommend having the layouts of the buttons, display and door in front of the washer machine. In this way, the disabled group will be easier to access the functionalities of the machine. If the layouts have been placed on the top of the washer, it will be hard for disabled people to reach. In addition, the layouts are rather simple compared to the over-functioned machines in the current market. It is designed in this way because of the elderly group will…