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Book Reference: ‘Doing Disability Differently’ by Jos Boys

Routledge. 2014. Oxon

P.5. ‘Starting from disability, I suggest, also enables critical and creative engagement with these wider concerns, informing how we work towards making better sense of the world, so that we can act towards improving it.’ Effects: how to improve the situation for disabled people.

P.6. On the topic of disability and writing about disability; ‘Writing as a non-disabled person, the claim is not to speak for disabled people, but to take the responsibility for how abled people perpetuate the marginalisation of the disabled, to refuse to ignore that situation and to be part of a movement for change.’

P.12. Medical vs social model. ‘Many disabled people will say their biggest problem is not so much the fact of impairment itself, as the disabiling attitudes and barriers that come from other people only seeing that impairment.’

P.12. ‘Impairment, then, is not a neutral or objective fact; it is made and remade through everyday feelings, experiences and encounters.’ Good for studio project: it’s about encounters.

P.13. ‘Only seeing the disability dehumanises disabled people; they are voided of any ‘normal’ characteristics or personality traits.’ On seeing disability. Is it easier when you can see it?

P.15. ‘One of the odder aspects of these disabling stereotypes is that abled people tend to view the devices that support disabled people as problematic rather than valuable.’ Are devices problematic? Not the device that’s the problem, it’s how we see devices as non-human. E.g prosthetic legs work perfectly, and the restore ‘normality.’ That is a closed-looped system.

P.17. ‘Extending the body’s abilities are – in the case of disabled equipment – seen as problematic markers rather than valued mechanisms of bodily augmentation.’ Car parks, roads for cars. What about wheelchairs? They’re smaller, why isn’t it more acceptable?

P.18. ‘As well as assuming that the world divides non-problematically into the abled-bodied and the disabled, many people also assume that having a disability is obvious, that it can be ‘read’ from the bodies of those who are ‘different’ through either their appearance or their actions. In fact, the diversity of our bodies makes this much more partial, difficult and shifting. People may be born with an impairment, or develop one later in life; it might be chronic, variable or short term. Many people may show no obvious physical symptoms or can keep their exhaustion or medication ‘hidden’ from others.’ Can’t always see it. Look for visual cues. Use this when talking about tech.

P.18. Good quote for superbetic representation. ‘Disabled people must also develop strategies for dealing with simplistic stereotypes about what disability should look like, and how it should be enacted.’

P.20. ‘As I said at the beginning of this chapter, it is not about living the stereotypes, but relating to, engaging with and living in response to these stereotypes.’ Good quote for stereotypes.

P.20. ‘Many disability theorists, writers and activists have been re exploring how to re-integrate the personal experiences of impairment with the public campaigns demanding improved services and environments for disabled people.’ This is more current than the social model of disability. This has become more important according to Jos Boys and others.

P.21. ‘What we need to do is to find a way to integrate impairment into our whole experience and sense of ourselves for the sake of our own physical and emotional well-being and subsequently for our individual and collective capacity to work against disability.’ This is the new goal.

P.21. ‘Explicitly recognising the experiences of impairment and illness as a normal part of life means that we urgently need to explore how to better engage with dis/ability, that is to simultaneously take notice of the many strategies and narratives of disabled people themselves, and to engage more critically with the unspoken assumptions behind what constitutes being abled.’ The goal: to normalise and recognise impairments. Try to aid and engage with critically and call for a redesign in architecture, material and product design.

P.23. ‘Stereotypes of disability can distort our understanding of the diversity and complexity of disabled people’s lives and make invisible the continuous entanglements between disability and ability.’ This is what stereotypes do.

P.27. ‘A particular disabled person can come to stand for / conform to a whole category of medical impairment, such that the rich experiences, responses and strategies of different disabled people to their material surroundings are flattened into the ‘single dimensional’.

P.27. ‘Both the concepts of accessibility and of inclusive design can unintentionally imply that disability is ‘fixed’ and ahistorical category where all the limitations of different impairments can be listed accurately and completely and then resolved ‘straightforwardly’ through design.’ It’s single dimensional. We must look at individuals’ disability and work outwards.

Book to read: The question of access; disability, space and meaning. Titchkosky.

P.58. ‘As I have said before, what it allows us to notice is the work embedded in making and remaking everyday life.’ Look at specific actions and every day activities. Ethnomethodology

P.131. ‘Another route to mapping disability differently is through engaging with disabled people’s own creative interpretations of the world, precisely operating at, playing with, and subverting this ‘mediation of heterogeneous materialities and practices.’ Individual’s creative interpretation is so important.

P.159. ‘Starting from disability means not imposing assumptions about what disabled people are like, or want, but as already said, taking notice of the diversity of narratives and strategies.’ Don’t impose assumptions. Must be grounded in research.

P.183. ‘The problem for ‘inventors’ is to design a non human character that delegates for humans, without demanding special or unexpected skills of it’s human users.’ That’s the design goal.

P.191. ‘As noted in the introduction, starting from disability does not lead to universal or simple design solutions.’

P.191. ‘In fact, in many ways, starting from dis/ability and a critical and creative engagement with everyday social and spatial practices is just like all the other ‘normal’ architectural design processes: operating exactly in the complex, messy and often contradictory spaces of our diverse and varying lives with others, artefacts, and material form.’ You’re not going to find a simple design solution.


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