Books… Part 1


Alongside researching on the internet about disabilities, I have used the library to find some useful information and pointers that could potentially help me through my research project.

Design Meets Disability book
Design Meets Disability. Graham Pullin. (2011)

This book, ‘design meets disability’ has a wide variety of disability incorporated design from designers all over the world. As a designer myself it interests me to see how other designers would handle a situation. Before looking properly into the book I skimmed through and landed on a page in which it talks about ability. I picked out a few lines in this passage that had particular relevance to me and my research.

“…the user group for any design for special needs is usually described in terms of a particular impairment that they share.”

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) acknowledges that every human being can experience some degree of disability.”

“Perhaps it is time to do more to blur the boundaries between mainstream design and design for disability? Perhaps this involves challenging the distinction between universal design and design for special needs?”

(Pullin. G. 2011. design meets disability)

My reasons for choosing these short references and to include them in my blog is because they all have a meaning behind them. Those with disabilities shouldn’t be treated any different and designers should be finding the balance between design for able-bodied and disabled bodied users.

The first section that properly caught me in the book is a designer named Jasper Morrison; an English product and furniture designer and how he could potentially make a new furniture collection for those with disabilities. Before carrying on to read about Jasper Morrison and how a collection should be developed, I read a strong sentence that I just had to share.

“Mobility is the priority, but mobility is not everything; since people may sit in them all day, their wheelchairs will form part of other people’s perception of them, an intimate association analogous to their clothing or the interior of their home.”

In a paragraph of this chapter of the book, David Constantine from the wheelchair organisation Motivation, says that he “can feel rather upright and somewhat detached when everyone else is lounging on sofas, and perhaps this even changes their perceptions of him too.” (Pullin. G. 2009. disability meets design.)

This short but quite sad statement from David Constantine speaks a thousand words. A disabled person should not feel left out or detached from able-bodied people just because they’re at a different level to those around them. It takes consideration from those around them too.


With a quick skim through this book, ‘Disability’, I found an interesting piece of information that defines the difference between disability and impairment, from the DPI (Disabled People International). (DPI (1982) Proceedings of the First World Congress. Singapore)

Impairment – ‘The functional limitation within the individual cause by physical, mental or sensory impairment’.

Disability – ‘The loss or limitation of opportunities to take part in the normal life of the community on an equal level with others due to physical and social barriers’.

Disabled - book
Disability. Colin Barnes and Geof Mercer (2003)

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