Main Conent


Architectural design has entailed barriers that in turn created disability.

photograph illustration black white color phone booth disability history america

Wherever people with disabilities have lived, they and others have created adaptive solutions to everyday activities. In the mid-20th century, institutions and local governments began adapting public spaces through altering the impassable height of curbs (curbcuts) and other ergonomic features. Urban landscapes were altered as disability activists successfully lobbied for federal legislation to make public buildings, transportation, and education accessible.

When the ADA was written in 1990, no one foresaw the significance of the worldwide web or thought of information technology as architecture. Access to the internet through the building of “electronic curb cuts,” under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, has been the focus of inclusion work over the last twenty years.