This paper describes a research and design project focused on investigating challenges of work in behind the counter (BhC) workspaces. Present designs of BhC workspaces do not accommodate needs of intended users; and exclude older adults and people-with-disabilities from employment possibilities. The project examined challenges of work in BhC workspaces for the working population in the United States. People-focused and environment-oriented research methods were employed to learn about needs and preferences of employees working in office reception, library checkout, hotel reception and airline check-in counters. A multimodal research methodology helped to map problems from different perspectives; identify user needs and preferences; and generate guidelines to inform design development of inclusive BhC workspaces. The resulting BhC workspace designs incorporate principles of universal design and enable employment opportunities for everyone.
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