Our Disability-Led Transportation Workshop will urge participants to ask how non-normative body-minds can be a starting point for radical innovation in transportation rather than treating accessibility as a "design problem". Participants will rely on disabled expertise to analyze existing technologies, systems and services. This process will provide urban planners, policymakers and active transportation advocates a hands-on introduction to our approach of Disability-Led Design.
Disability-Led Design is a response to commercial inclusive and co-design processes that typically initiate user research for a narrowly defined client brief. We have found that these processes wind up validating, rather than challenging basic initial assumptions about the nature and scope of the project, and about the users themselves. Current methodologies tend to position disabled people as users and testers that provide feedback on an already-defined project. We, instead, focus on the benefits of having disabled people involved in every phase of the design process.
Participants of this workshop will not define or respond to a design problem. Instead, we will work collaboratively, as a group, consider a present experience or interaction, and then explore potential effects that might emerge by introducing a wide range of possible changes to that category. This is a process that allows designers to identify specific causes and effects that may be desirable to pursue.
The goal of this workshop is to demonstrate what it means to engage in disability as a creative practice, and to teach designers how to integrate disability-led design methods into their own processes. This experience will enable designers to develop a more complete understanding of disability identity and culture and the creative opportunities these offer. It will also challenge them to think more critically about who we include in the futures and systems we seek to create.