Building Access

Aimi Hamraie visited University of Michigan, as a part of Disability Awareness Month, and shared her well-known book as Building Access: Universal Design and the Politics of Disability. Hamraie shared key points from her book such as strategies for designing and making things more accessible for those with disabilities. She shared history from the time people have been advocating for rights and accessibility to now. Lastly, she discussed her remarkable work at Vanderbilt University with an ongoing project revolving around participatory mapping, data collection, and Crip technoscience project that are based on principles of disability justice, intersectionality, and spatial practice to explore mapping as a tool for social justice. 

I have to admit that learning about the ongoing project (Mapping Access) was the most interesting thing for me. It’s so unique to have a project that involves students and faculty in an inclusive process of improving accessibility within the University. It was nice to know that I am not personally alone in this struggle with accessibility.  This project was inspiring, because its using a unique, alternative perspective in bringing awareness to everyone across campus. I am glad that I had the opportunity to attend this lecture and learn more about the book and project. I would definitely recommend that others learn more from this book and look into this great project. 

I chose this event since I am passionate about disability and accessibility. I thought it would be unique to gain a perspective from an architectural standpoint. I always reflect on things based on my personal experiences (deaf perspective) or how things can be approached technologically. It’s always cool when there is a guest speaker, especially an author (I am a book “nerd”). It was a unique perspective. I am interested in reading the book after the talk.