Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher EducationSkip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
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10. Aside from this one classroom anecdote, there have been huge developments in design thinking in the last decade. For example, with the popularity of “responsive design,” people expect the right to access content and media on whatever device they use. Can this extend to whichever body they use? The range of ways we think of what we might call design-for continue to expand. But we also get significant changes in how we think of design-by. For instance, Sara Hendren and Caitrin Lynch’s recent Engineering at Home project shows that “an expanded view of engineering takes on new urgency . . . when it comes to design for disability. . . . Placing people at the center of the research and development of ‘assistive technologies’ is critical to robust, innovative, adaptive engineering. Their project seeks to tell stories and provide examples of not just user-centered design but also ‘user-initiated’ design” (n.p). In their words, “perhaps especially in design for disability, attentive design-for-one practices can yield a powerful course correction to the top-down modes of manufacturing. A disposition of experimentation, a willingness to harvest the lessons of singularity, a provisional commitment to the one-off: these unique objects together form an argument for the recognition of more user-initiated technologies as engineering, wherever they originate and whatever market they may eventually find” (n.p.).
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