Posted in Discussion Questions

Creating accessibility is a universal issue. – Happy Monday Folks!


TPC= technical and professional communications

Of the US population, 1 in 7 people have some level of disability.  This affects every community and business.  The projected trend will have 1 in 3 people with some level of disability by 2150.  This commonality needs to be addressed by businesses and how they choose to accommodate these people.  Innovation is needed to create accessibility. Disability studies work on the power of words.  Disability studies more generally defines the term disability to describe anyone who is confined by their situation or environment.  We have had a backwards way of thinking for treating disability, currently we treat the condition of the person rather than trying to treat the situations that trap the lives of disabled people.  The technical communication community can help the disability studies put their ideas into practice.  They are prepared to help with communication problems and set-up solutions.  Tying in something Michelle said last Friday, the language and wording used can be a barrier between who can read a text and who can’t, the technical communication community can help us move past that.

This book will look at technical communicators and how they can help with disabled studies and accessibility. Chapters 1 and 2 will look at technology problems oriented to autistics and low-literacy individuals. Chapter 3 discusses the theory of technological embodiment and how it encourages a balance between able-bodied and disabled individuals, and allows them to focus more on the information dispersed. Chapters 4 and 5 involve inclusive language in relation to metaphors.  This describes how the work we do should include and empower others instead of creating isolation. This also relates to gender and race because groups can feel separated based on words or metaphors used. That could be described as a disability since these people are being restrained by a situation.  Therefore, both technical communicators and disabled studies have a vested interest in language usage to prevent hurting or isolating people. Chapter 6 and 7 focuses on methods of increasing accessibility in the classroom, specifically online classrooms. Chapter 8 and 9 go in-depth on the issues faced globally on disability. The final chapters 10-11 go over resources for the reader to educate themselves more outside this book on disability and accessibility and how to address communication problems. In relation to rhetorical accessibility, we craft a literary work for a certain audience and create boundaries.  The book discusses writing towards a universal model so that we aren’t separating anybody.  Additionally, a need has been found for disabled users to give feedback on work being done.  We can only help increase accessibility in cooperation with those we are trying to help.

I understand the interest in having a universal audience construct, but shouldn’t scholarly articles be written in intelligent jargon when sharing research or experimental methodology?

What chapter interested you?  Personally, I am interested in Chapters 4 and 5 and how they address micro-language and how it separates people from the ‘norm.’

Do you feel that disability should be defined as it is by the medical community or more broadly like it is for the disabled studies community?


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