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Journal articles

Universal design and the challenge of diversity: reflections on the principles of UD, based on empirical research of people’s mobility

Abstract : Purpose: The author analyses some theoretical presuppositions of the Universal Design approach. She shows that it is based on two paradoxes: (1) it reduces diversity to the "universal'', (2) it depends on an asymmetrical view of abilities and disabilities. The author suggests a way of changing this concept in order to take into account uniqueness and diversity, in order to allow the shaping of abilities. Methods: The data are taken from an ethnographical survey carried out between 2007 and 2009 made up of in-depth interviews with wheelchair users and their families. The interviews were analysed inductively using the Nvivo (c) programme. Results: The mobility of people in wheelchairs, and their capacity to act, are linked to their particular experience and are the result of a process of adjustment and arrangement. This process involves specific and varied resources and leads to changes in the individuals, in their dis/abilites, but also in their perceptions. Conclusions: This analysis leads to a change in the question of policy. This question is no longer "how to include diversity using the definition of 'universal''', but "how to bring out and articulate this diversity, so as to vary the qualities of persons and the world in which they live''.
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https://hal-cnrs.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03478887
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 10:32:28 AM
Last modification on : Monday, May 9, 2022 - 12:04:57 PM

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Myriam Winance. Universal design and the challenge of diversity: reflections on the principles of UD, based on empirical research of people’s mobility. Disability and Rehabilitation, Informa Healthcare/Taylor and Francis, 2014, 36 (16), pp.1334-1343. ⟨10.3109/09638288.2014.936564⟩. ⟨hal-03478887⟩

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