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Inside Iowa State
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September 26, 2003

Research shorts

Access guide
A new, illustrated guidebook co-authored by architecture professor Arvid Osterberg will help architects, landscape architects and building code officials ensure that new and existing buildings are accessible to all.

Osterberg and former ISU student Donna Kain (now an assistant professor at Clarkson University, Potsdam, N.Y.), along with a team of graduate students from several disciplines, spent five years researching accessibility while preparing Access for Everyone. The project grew out of Osterberg's research into accessibility and safety issues.

"Professionals and lay people can use the guide in three ways -- as a tool to review building plans and site plans, as a field guide for on-site inspections and as a reference resource for accessibility requirements," Osterberg said.

The ISU facilities planning and management office supported development and publication of the book.

diagram of single spacing
The illustrations show (right) a level change wi beveled edge to make a route more accessible, and (left) the minimum width required for a single wheelchair space in an assembly area, such as an auditorium or theater.

Ambrosiaster translated
The works of an unknown fourth century Roman writer will be translated into English for the first time by David Hunter, holder of the Monsignor James A. Supple Chair of Catholic Studies, and two colleagues at other universities.

The unknown writer, called "Ambrosiaster," produced the first complete Latin commentary on Paul's New Testament letters, as well as an extensive set of questions on the Old and New Testaments. Hunter said the work is

monumental. "This writer is important, although no one knows who he was," Hunter said. "But his commentaries and writings have had an enormous impact and influence on Christianity."

The Ambrosiaster writings contain some of the earliest references to celibacy of priests in what is now the Catholic Church, Hunter said. Ambrosiaster also discussed issues ranging from pagan religion to Judaism to the role of women in the church and society.

The project is expected to take two to three years to complete.

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