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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 move through 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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