While devices adapted to the needs of people with disabilities can be found throughout human history, industrialization created distinctive circumstances for the material lives of the disabled. On one hand, people with sensory, cognitive, and physical disabilities were often those who struggled most to adapt to modern material life with its rationalized work routines, standardized products, and inaccessible architecture. On the other hand, modern design culture was one of improvement. Designers, architects, and engineers proposed ways to adapt products and sites for users of varying abilities, while people with disabilities and their families found creative ways to improve access for themselves. Legal and policy efforts such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also spurred change in the 20th century as they defined access to architecture and technology as a civil right.
For a more detailed description of possible topics, please see the full call for papers.
Interested scholars should submit abstracts of 300 words accompanied by a 1-page CV to Carol Lockman at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 1, 2016. Travel support and lodging will be provided for presenters at the conference.