A blog about universal and accessible design

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

3 quick links to 3 smart things

1. Steven Kuusisto on the "post-physical" fantasy of many technophiles -
We are, it seems, living in the age of the promissory “improved” body—yet that body is still stuck between the territories of production (politics), reproduction (material expense) and imagination (compulsory normativity).
Kuusisto writes that this ideal of a mechanized world that alleviates or "eliminates" disability is not a neutral product of technological innovation - it is the result of particular processes of imagination, wrapped in political concerns (i.e. who plans, who pays, who decides who and what gets to be post-physical?). In other words,
[the post-physical ideal] evokes Bill Clinton’s remark: “If you see a turtle on a fence post you can bet he didn’t get there by accident.”
2. Wheelchair Dancer on emergency plans - personal and administrative - for people with disabilities.
Katrina seems to have been a turning point in disaster planning for people with disabilities... Since then, I have seen numerous conference announcements, notices for research reports and lists of paper abstracts talking about disaster planning for people with disabilities. (An unfortunate side effect of all this good work is the now popular phrase "vulnerable populations.")
(note: this is an issue that also came to mind for me at the time of the inauguration, when officials suggested people with disabilities stay at home)

3. An interview with Pattie Moore, an industrial design consultant whose 1979 experiment of disguising herself as an elderly woman brought light to accessible design issues (via Core77).
In the 70s, we were told we design for a Caucasian, 40 years old, living on Long Island, with 2.3 kids. We didn’t even really design for women. And if you brought up the idea of designing for people with arthritis, for example, they would say, “We don’t design for those people!”
Also related: giant NY Times magazine article about the aging "market."

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