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According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, one in 59 children lived with autism in 2014, up from one in 150 in 2000. Autism’s increasing prevalence calls for planners to plan and design the public realm to improve the quality of life for people with autism.
This PAS Memo introduces planners to the Six Feelings Framework for planning for autism and offers examples of how to apply these design principles to make the public realm more safe, comfortable, and inclusive for everybody in a community.
About the Authors
Kyle Ezell, FAICP CUD
Kyle Ezell, EdD, FAICP CUD, is a professor of practice in city and regional planning at The Ohio State University's city and regional planning program in the Knowlton School and a senior affiliate of OSU's Drake Institute of Teaching and Learning. He served in leadership roles as an elected board member and secretary of APA Tennessee in the 1990s and was a member of the APA Ohio Board of Trustees from 2013 to 2018, serving as APA Ohio's professional development officer during the final three years of his tenure.
Dr. Gala Korniyenko is the Director of Research and Development for Innovative Communities at National Youth Advocate Program, and a lecturer in the City and Regional Planning Program at The Ohio State University. Gala was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Kansas where she holds a Master of Urban Planning. She is an active member of the American Planning Association where she is a secretary for the International Division of American Planning Association (APA). As a Ukrainian, Korniyenko participates in the Ukrainian Rebuilding Action Group and Urban Coalition for Ukraine Ro3kvit. Gala's research explores the nexus of urban design, neuroscience, and the planning process, especially as it affects the twenty percent of the United States population who are neurodiverse. Her publications include “Planning for War-Induced Tinnitus and Hearing Loss Accommodation in Ukraine” in Nature Cities (2024), “Universal Design and Inclusive Participation” in The Routledge Handbook of Inclusive Education for Teacher Educators (2023), “Disability and Ukrainian Urban Space" in Inclusion, Equity, and Access for Individuals with Disabilities by Palgrave Macmillan (2019), and “When Every Day is a Sensory Overload” in the Planning magazine of the American Planning Association (2018).
Richard Stein, AICP
Rick Stein is the Principal and Owner of Urban Decision Group – an urban planning and professional services firm located in Columbus, Ohio. He is an active member of the American Planning Association (APA), Urban Land Institute (ULI), Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Mr. Stein is an active contributor to Urbanism Next – whose focus is conducting research and providing information about the potential impacts of emerging technologies. His recent work is focused on the new retail economy and its impact on cites.