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Accessibility in America Past and Present

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Bess Williamson’s Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design is a thought-provoking and edifying look at the shifting culture around disability and the design of our built environment in the United States from post-World War II to the present. I was interested to read the book both because I have a longstanding scholarly interest in the history of bodies and technology, and because I have been personally forced to confront issues of disability and the built environment since becoming visually impaired six years ago. Accessible America was enlightening on both counts. In all of the ways the design of my house, my neighborhood, and the tools in my kitchen drawers do and don’t help me thrive, I now see layers of history...

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