A blog about universal and accessible design

Thursday, June 5, 2008

hello interweb

I am starting this blog to try to keep track of links, images, thoughts, etc about design, rights, and particularly the intersection between disability issues and design. I am in the early stages of a dissertation on how designers and users tried to improve everyday spaces and objects to make them more functional for a range of physical abilities, both prompted by rights legislation and not, during the second half of the twentieth century (focusing on the decades leading up to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990). That means things like custom cars, lighter and more flexible wheelchairs, and architectural accessibility, as well as "universal" design in buildings and products so that everyone can use them. This project comes out of several years of studying socially- and environmentally-conscious design; ultimately I am interested in how the built world responds to social change (or fails to).

A note about accessibility: when I use images in this blog I will describe them as best I can for text-only readers. I am new to this practice (though with art history training I should be better at it!). Please tell me if you have any problems reading this blog, for this reason or any others. I am new to blogging in general, so I genuinely appreciate constructive criticism of any kind.

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