Interesting ADA / Universal Design / Accessibility solutions

[what [is] reenactment but the rituals of nostalgia? Ah, like the custom of the groom carrying the bride over the threshold reenacts the rape of the Sabine women. It says so right in Livy's Romulus).]

Oct 22, 08 9:39 am  · 
vado retro

is that threshold ada compliant?

Oct 22, 08 2:02 pm  · 

I don't think I said anything in favor of, nor dismissive of, nostalgia. Actually, I agree with your above assessment of the cultural role of nostalgia, but do not believe that (disability) activism and accommodation are necessarily nostalgic. Also, I don't think it's possible to argue whether our species is more self-destructive or constructive (there is enough evidence of both).

I do appreciate your reminders of the limitations to changes to arch/infrastructure/etc. Also the reminders that in the future there might be radical alterations to the conception and composition of the body, and that disability is indeed constructed by milieu as much as by physical body - this is something that is often forgotten/overlooked within architectural discourses about disability and accessibility, which do tend to limit the discussion to spatial products. These points are recognized within disability scholarship/activism (and of course other niches of theory.) Alteration to the disposition of architecture, infrastructure, etc. is understood as one set of operations undertaken to re-write the subjective conditions that constitute "disability." Stairlessness, mechanized lifts, activism, consciousness-raising, etc. are tools that by which some otherwise currently disabled people rewrite their disabilities and become able - whether these tools operate on a built environment, a body, or a cultural attitude. (And sometimes, of course, they don't overlap - mobility may be physically enabling, but if people still view you as "a wheelchair" and connote this with limitation, you remain disadvantaged.) The solutions we have available right now are indeed awkward and patchy, and you're right - few things (if anything, ever) actually addresses all conditions. But they are what we have. Now. For things that are going to be built - now. Not in the future, when it's all resolved better by cybernetic supercapability for all, but now - the confrontation of which doesn't invalidate anticipation of future needs. The future can be considered & disability can be abstracted & contextualized as part of a broader condition, while still actively altering infrastructure and cultural apparatus so that existing people now and into the forseeable future can physically get into the toilet stall.

Like you, I also recognize the possibility of ongoing evolutions of the body and the comprehension thereof. I also understand cautiousness surrounding making sweeping changes to benefit "a select few," but disabled people are not "few." While most people at any given time are not disabled, most people at least temporarily join the contingent of the bodily or mentally disabled at some time(s) during their lives (and, as you said, might even be theorized as disabled in relation to the future of human/post-human capacity.) I am not entirely sure I'm "Optimistic" (though that is fine, if so). Rationality is also the subjective product of our time, so I don't assign an inherent valor to it. If I'm irrational, that is fine. I do fail to see how anticipating a more distant future might be mutually exclusive from addressing problems in the present and near future, even if there is a risk that present resolutions contain an embedded obsolescence, even if it's certain they do.

Oct 22, 08 11:05 pm  · 

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