Date of Award

12-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Industrial Engineering

Major Professor

Rapinder Sawhney

Committee Members

Haileab Hilafu, Lee Martin

Abstract

The People with Disabilities (PWD) & Senior Citizen (SC) are isolated from the mainstream society, and they face several barriers in everyday life. There is no communication platform for them to express their concerns, in turn, participate in the city municipality policy decisions related to PWD- & SC-friendly city development. The purpose of this research is to integrate disability and senior citizen issues in the city of Knoxville to the city council decisions. The comprehensive literature search is done to identify the frequently mentioned disability and age-friendly city factors. An effective survey was designed to identify the issues in collaboration with Knoxville mayor's Council on Disability Issues (CODI) members. The survey is a questionnaire of disability, and age-friendly city factors and the participants are asked to rank them from high priority to low. A total of 227 responses were collected and descriptive statistical tools applied to the data to find which factor is perceived most important. Further, the influence of demographic groups on the perceived importance of the factors is determined from the multiple regression analysis. The feedback section in the survey helped in getting additional concerns of the PWD and SC in the city. The steps in developing this are charted out as a platform to influence the issues in city municipality decision making that applies to any city.

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