AB Disabled by Design

Businessman on a wheelchair against modern stairs (Simone Becchetti via Getty Images)
The discrimination of modern architectural designed against the disabled. (Simone Becchetti via Getty Images)

Clark Miller, Claire Gordon. “Disabled by Design.” How a lack of imagination in technology keeps the world inaccessible to huge numbers of people.N.p., n.d. Web.

Clark Miller, the associate director of the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes at Arizona State University teamed up with Claire Gordon, a researcher of the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education to write “Disabled by Design”, an article that is primarily focused on the concept of “technology’s patterns force people to design their own bodies to fit in—or those patterns exclude people from participation when they don’t fit.” Miller uses Regan Brashears’s film Fixed to show that in society today ” the most common response is to call for technology to fix disabled bodies– Rather than designing the world so that a diverse population can function and thrive within it.”


(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Paul Gorman/Released)
(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Paul Gorman/Released)

One of the supporting arguments given is the research conducted by the Claire Gordon on the U.S. Black Hawk helicopter. In this study Gordon informs her audience on the architectural exclusion of the U.S. Black Hawk. Gordon states “while the engineers used conventional standards to construct the design of workstations and equipment in the cockpit, it only fits 90% of the users. Within these percentages there is even a smaller amount of female minorities able to use this equipment,  “– in the general Army population, more than one-third of female soldiers and almost three-quarters of Hispanic female soldiers physically did not have the right size or shape body to fly a Black Hawk. ”


“Disabled by Design” was written to influence the thought of the citizens and to hopefully become “The citizens guide to the future.” This would be useful for any researcher looking for a credible source with scholarly accredited studies to support the theory of discrimination within architecture towards certain groups, specifically the disabled.

sdaniel28 & caskew7