chapter  5
20 Pages

Can Technology Overcome the Disabling City?


According to some influential observers, disability is a ‘natural ill’ that technology can supposedly cure (Oliver 1990). In this view, the development of ever more sophisticated (and increasingly computerised) adaptive technologiesin the form of aids, appliances, and accessible urban design-will eventually liberate ever greater numbers of disabled people from the social and economic constraints ‘imposed’ by their bodily impairments (e.g., Sokolowska et al. 1981). Gordon (1983:235) extols this view with his claim that:

In this age of electronics, computers, and other marvelous advances which enable us to place men [sic] on the moon, we have the ingredients to give the disabled a place on the earth.