I found a website called EASI (equal access to software and information). They offer classes in “universal design” for websites and implementation of assistive technologies for the disabled. I have signed up for a free clinic and I am seriously considering taking 5 tuition-based classes with them to get a “Certificate in Accessible Information Technology”. This reminds me of an old thread on Cyburbia where someone asked about design for the “able disabled” on behalf of a partially disabled relative who can get around on his own if there are handrails but can’t if there are not.
For those of you who have not already memorized my entire biography (from hearing it a zillion times), I am medically handicapped, I homeschool my special needs kids, one of whom has multiple “invisible” handicaps, and interest in what I have to say on the subject of homeschooling twice-exceptional kids led me to start a website. I have joined the e-mail list for EASI and posted an intro and some questions there. I know that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires cities to have sidewalks that are usable with wheelchairs and stuff like that. I am wondering if there are any existing educational programs dealing with such issues or design firms or something. I am wondering how cities address such things. Is there a special job just for addressing such things?
I am really not sure where to start. I kind of wondered about this from the minute I saw the thread about ‘able disabled design’, which got very little response. It seems to be a very neglected area and I have years of experience accommodating handicaps (for myself and people close to me) in the face of little support from “society”. It might be an area I am uniquely qualified to offer consulting services in. But I have no idea what kinds of services the planning or design community needs in this regard.