Ddi 12 ss disabilities Neg Dartmouth 2012 Andrew 1 ddi 12 ss disabilities Neg Strategy Sheet


There is NO such thing as “Universal Design” – it is impossible to accommodate all disabilities



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5. There is NO such thing as “Universal Design” – it is impossible to accommodate all disabilities

Gregg C. Vanderheiden, Trace R&D Center @ University of Wisconsin-Madison, 5/6/96, http://trace.wisc.edu/docs/whats_ud/whats_ud.htm, “Universal Design... What It Is and What It Isn't”; AB


Universal design has two major components: Designing products so that they are flexible enough that they can be directly used (without requiring any assistive technologies or modifications) by people with the widest range of abilities and circumstances as is commercially practical given current materials, technologies, and knowledge; and Designing products so that they are compatible with the assistive technologies that might be used by those who cannot efficiently access and use the products directly. There are NO universal designs; there are NO universally designed products. Universal design is a process, which yields products (devices, environments, systems, and processes), which are usable by and useful to the widest possible range of people. It is not possible, however, to create a product, which is usable by everyone or under all circumstances. There are, for instance, people who simultaneously are deaf-blind, have cerebral palsy, and have severe cognitive impairments. We do not currently know how we would design a personal transportation system, which could be independently used by an individual with such a combination of impairments. This is rather an extreme case, but it goes to make the point.
6. Framing people with disabilities as a minority group reinforces the dichotomy between able and disabled



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