Disability Studies cultivates a critical narrative consciousness to unlock understandings of disability in the context of multiple disciplines, experiences, and perspectives. If we are to ably turn indisputably attractive words like “diversity” into concrete actions that make a difference, we need to share scholarship and research into the broad panoply of perspectives on impairment. First, we are compelled to ask how these perspectives been shaped by varied ideas in cultural identity, social conditions and social justice?
More than ever, people work, play, learn, research, receive health care, transact commerce, experience community participation and conduct personal communication through technology. For the nation’s 57 million people living with disabilities and for the billion plus worldwide, access to the virtual landscape is a critical means of civic engagement and economic opportunity. Without it, persons with disabilities lack the same prerogatives that their fellow citizens are free to enjoy. Today technological inclusion is a civil rights issue.
What would it take for our cities and towns to be inclusive of everyone’s needs? For those living with a disability, this is the crux: basic urban infrastructure, services and facilities are either difficult to use or out of bounds altogether. The need for sustainable solutions is ever-more critical considering that two-thirds of the world’s population are expected to reside in urban environments by 2050.