The Download: introducing the Accessibility issue

When it comes to thinking about accessibility, so many of the dominant stories around technologies for disability, access, and mobility paint them as objects of empowerment or heroic, life-changing panaceas for social ill. 

In reality, most of the bugginess and time-suckiness of new tech is never talked about.

In the latest issue of MIT Technology Review, which is all about accessibility, we dig into the popular narratives about these approaches—shining a light on the stories we tell about technology, and the stories we tell about disability.

Opening ourselves up to all-access thinking and disabled expertise will mean a more livable world—one that we all can inhabit. 

Read the opening essay to the magazine by our guest editor Ashley Shew, an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society at Virginia Tech.

And here’s a selection of the great stories you can read in the new issue:

+ A new app designed to make immigration at the southern border more orderly has turned into an obstacle for families hoping to seek refuge in the US.

+ Access technologist Chancey Fleet explains how tactile graphics help blind and low-sighted people navigate the world.

+ Meet the startups who want to build futuristic blimps, airships, and hot-air balloons.

+ The iPad promised to revolutionize accessibility—but 13 years on, its legacy is mixed, to say the least.

+ How US state government vans captured a rich visual history of America’s roads and highways over decades.

+ A technology that transforms information into sound is opening up astronomy to a whole new audience.

Source: MIT Technology Review

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