Abstract

In our paper, we claim that general human and artificial communication systems might be enriched by acknowledging and adding specifics of different ways of communication, perception and locomotion that refer to bodily impairment (Bieling, 2009). Schillmeier (2009, 79ff) sees disability less as an effect of bodily impairment, but more as a phenomenon of social construction. Oriented towards Science, Technology and Society Studies (STS) he conceptualizes disability as a “heterogenic, material event”, which connects “social and non-social relations of human and non-human actors, of things, bodies, technologies, sensorical pratices” and becomes able to be experienced in the sense of disabling as well as enabling (›dis/abling‹) scenarios. (Waldschmidt/Schneider, 2009, 17) „With the multiple objects of ›Disability‹, the parliament of things becomes obvious: the assembly of bodies, technologies, and things, as an articulation of reality of natures and cultures“. (Schillmeier, 2009, 79ff) By exploring disability from an ›out-of-center‹ position, we aim to use it as a “knowledge-constituting moment, for the analysis of the (majority of) society”. (Waldschmidt/Schneider, 2009, 15) In our investigation we consequently focus on integrative processes: An improvement of social integration, as well as an improvement of communication systems and devices through design (research), inspired by and learning from communication patterns of the bodily (and therefore socially) impaired. If we, as e.g. interface designers, understood more about communicative variations caused by bodily impairment, we might be able to create systems that enrich general human communication, by transferring and combining properties of such different variations. We will discuss results and examples of the design research project Speechless, an interdisciplinary project run at the Design Research Lab of Deutsche Telekom Laboratories, Berlin. One main focus of Speechless lies primarily on deaf and blind communication and perception, as well as on the transferability of alternative forms of communication to general human (interpersonal) communication and human-computerinteraction (HCI).

Keywords:

Disability Inspired Design/Research, Disability Studies, Alternative Communication, Hci, Social Innovation, Participatory Design, Cultural Studies

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Jul 7th, 12:00 AM

Dis/Ability Teaches Design!

In our paper, we claim that general human and artificial communication systems might be enriched by acknowledging and adding specifics of different ways of communication, perception and locomotion that refer to bodily impairment (Bieling, 2009). Schillmeier (2009, 79ff) sees disability less as an effect of bodily impairment, but more as a phenomenon of social construction. Oriented towards Science, Technology and Society Studies (STS) he conceptualizes disability as a “heterogenic, material event”, which connects “social and non-social relations of human and non-human actors, of things, bodies, technologies, sensorical pratices” and becomes able to be experienced in the sense of disabling as well as enabling (›dis/abling‹) scenarios. (Waldschmidt/Schneider, 2009, 17) „With the multiple objects of ›Disability‹, the parliament of things becomes obvious: the assembly of bodies, technologies, and things, as an articulation of reality of natures and cultures“. (Schillmeier, 2009, 79ff) By exploring disability from an ›out-of-center‹ position, we aim to use it as a “knowledge-constituting moment, for the analysis of the (majority of) society”. (Waldschmidt/Schneider, 2009, 15) In our investigation we consequently focus on integrative processes: An improvement of social integration, as well as an improvement of communication systems and devices through design (research), inspired by and learning from communication patterns of the bodily (and therefore socially) impaired. If we, as e.g. interface designers, understood more about communicative variations caused by bodily impairment, we might be able to create systems that enrich general human communication, by transferring and combining properties of such different variations. We will discuss results and examples of the design research project Speechless, an interdisciplinary project run at the Design Research Lab of Deutsche Telekom Laboratories, Berlin. One main focus of Speechless lies primarily on deaf and blind communication and perception, as well as on the transferability of alternative forms of communication to general human (interpersonal) communication and human-computerinteraction (HCI).

 

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