• Mapping Access: Digital Humanities, Disability Justice, and Sociospatial Practice

    Author(s):
    Aimi Hamraie (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    Critical Disability Studies, Digital Humanists
    Subject(s):
    Disability studies, Mapping, Critical disability studies, Accessibility
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6QB9V541
    Abstract:
    New digital projects use geographic information systems (GIS) and crowdsourcing applications to gather data about the accessibility of public spaces for disabled people. While these projects offer useful tools, their approach to technology and disability is often depoliticized. Compliance-based maps take disability for granted as medical impairment and do not consider mapping as a humanistic and activist practice. This essay draws on digital humanities theories of "thick mapping" and critical disability theories of public citizenship to offer critical accessibility mapping as an alternative to compliance-focused mapping. Using Mapping Access as a case study, I frame digital mapping as a question-generating device, a site of narrative praxis, rather than mere data visualization. I argue that critical accessibility mapping offers a digital humanities-informed model of "sociospatial practice," with several distinct benefits: it recognizes marginalized experts; redefines the concepts of data, crowdsourcing, and public participation; offers new stories about disability and public belonging; and materializes the principles of disability justice, an early twentieth-century movement emphasizing intersectionality and collective access.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    9 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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