10 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2016
    1. In its temporal deferral, UD replicates the unrealized futurity of disability itself. As Robert McRuer notes, disability does not designate a subset of humanity but a spectral prospect that haunts everyone: “If we live long enough, disability is the one identity that we all inhabit” (200).[3] In its deferred arrival, UD, like disability, conjures an elusive future.

      Here, we find some similarities with universal design and disability. Neither are predictable and so to foretell the future for either is a task within itself.

    2. One of the authors, Richard H. Godden, considers how particular experience of disability shapes his use of media and also informs his reactions to prescriptive statements about the use of technology; the other author, Jonathan Hsy, writes as a nondisabled ally who considers some of the discursive and practical complications that arise in efforts to make the web more accessible to people with disabilities. We come from different perspectives, yet both of us ask what it means for any community to establish “best practices” for technology use. Even the most well-intentioned universalist discourses risk effacing crucial particularities of embodied experience.

      The fact that they both come from different sides of the spectrum, Godden considering himself disabled and Hsy claiming to be non-disabled, you get to understand the idea as whole better. And the fact that they can agree on some components shows what is truly working and what is problematic.

    3. While we agree UD is an unachievable goal, we would argue that the goal itself is problematic and ultimately inadequate to the continuously evolving situation of not only the inclusion of more and more disabled/extraordinary/eccentric bodies into “normal” society but also the ever-shifting ableness of any body as it moves toward inevitable failure.

      In order to get as close as possible to the ultimate goal of universal design, the problems within the actual idea and the way its defined must first be resolved.

    4. For example, Williams encourages a reciprocity between user and designer, arguing that “by working to meet the needs of disabled people—and by working with disabled people through usability testing—the digital humanities community will also benefit significantly as it rethinks its assumptions about how digital devices could and should work with and for people.”[17] I would suggest that the goals that animate UD should be and will continue to be a powerful principle in DH, but such a design principle needs to accompany, not supplant, the attention to the particular. Recriprocity could mean mutual care, of and for each other, but it should not need to flatten us out into a universal subject in the process.

      This is extremely important when thinking of universal design. The designer would benefit substantially by hearing from different points of views from different types of users. But instead of replacing, it can simply add-on without making any one group stand out.

    5. As someone with a disability, I feel deeply and urgently the need to be less reliant on other people, but sometimes existing technology can be inadequate—it can break down, be unreliable, or may just be a poor substitution for human help (even if I don’t want that help).

      However, if the system malfunctions or is unavailable to them at the time, it could serve as a disadvantage if the proper person isn't around to assist the person with the disability.

    6. This is, in fact, one of the great benefits of assistive technology and UD – by building environments, physical and digital, that provide barrier-free access, then People with Disabilities can function more independently, and with less reliance on other people

      Universal design is beneficial because it allows a person with a disability to be less independent on others who may have to read something aloud to them or take notes on their behalf.

    7. However, I want to suggest that both positions engender a sense of “best practice” that could obscure the specific sociopolitical and embodied orientation of an individual user

      Sometimes universal design can obscure the idea of what is best for an individual user.

    8. As I reflect on that conversation today, I realize that the uneven media functionality of DSDJ presented an awkward social reality for the workshop attendees: much of this Deaf-oriented journal was inaccessible to a hearing majority (i.e., online content was only partially accessible to non-ASL users). As a hearing person who does not know much ASL, I find it intriguing that a commentary section on the topic of audism or “audiocentric privilege” does not provide a link to a PDF that I can read in written English (perhaps one might appear in the future

      A person who does not consider himself to have a disability can find himself unable to comprehend a design rendered to someone who is disabled and vice versa. So what's good for some isn't necessarily what's good in general.

    9. Media theorist Jane Bringold observes that UD is not a discrete goal but a “Utopian ideal” (47).[1] No platform will ever be accessible across every language (spoken, written, signed), every medium, and every embodied difference (sensory, motor, cognitive).

      To parallel universal design to a Utopian mindset allows me to better understand why the idea sounds, but is not a particularly feasible concept.

    10. 1. UD is a myth

      A compelling way to start the argument of the paper. We would like to believe that there is some way to include everyone, but the truth is that somebody would be left out.