Title: Turning disability experience into expertise in assessing building accessibility: A contribution to articulating disability epistemology
Authors: Nijs, Greg ×
Heylighen, Ann #
Issue Date: 28-Apr-2015
Publisher: Elsevier Masson
Series Title: Alter - European Journal of Disability research vol:9 pages:144-156
Abstract: In this article, the authors elaborate on the issue of turning disability
experience into expertise, and that of the development of
disability epistemology. They do so by applying an approach transposed
from the field of science and technology studies (STS). As
a field and approach that departs from more traditional understandings
of epistemology, STS could well serve the articulation
of a proper disability epistemology, and as such it could inform
the wider field of disability studies. To this end, the article focuses
on a European city’s Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), led
by and (largely) composed of volunteering citizens living with
an impairment. In order to influence the city’s built environment,
the ACA has to develop tools to translate its experience
into something usable for the professionals (planners, architects, city council and city administrations) involved in the decision making process. One tool the ACA uses is a move-through building assessment. The authors follow the devising and realization of such a move-through assessment organised by the ACA where
people with different impairments together with nondisabled
participants visit a recently finished building to assess its accessibility
based on their proper experience. The empirical material
comes from observations obtained through participant observation
of the assessment, its preparation and the collective discussions
afterwards. The analysis of the ethnographic material of this movethrough
assessment provides a rich understanding of how citizens
with an impairment can impact their city’s built environment and vice versa. Three strands are explored: How is the tool devised? How is it put into practice? How does it affect the participating actors?
ISSN: 1875-0672
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Architecture and Design (+)
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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