Sunday, March 1, 2015

Thinking from the people with disabilities' view

It is a well-known phenomenon in nowadays society that people without disability is hard to understand people with disabilities’ difficult. It is not easy to realize the people with disabilities’ hard time in daily life, and their personal feelings inside. Thus, people won’t understand what the people with disabilities’ truly need and desire. As for a designer, the most important theory I have learned is that design cannot be arbitrary, only rely on your eyes is not enough and memories cannot be completely believed either. No matter as an individual or an organization, trying to know people with disabilities’ experience and feeling shall not only be based on the outside information from social media or other resources in library. That is only one side of the coin. 

How to think deeply from people with disabilities’ perspective and feel their emotion is the task I really try to handle with right now. I attempted several ways to experience the life in wheel chairs, Interviewed the elders who lives in a small space who are using wheelchair, listening to her complaining about the problems in her life and what she whats to change in the future. Yes, according to the interview I knows a lot, but simply becoming a good listener is not enough, those interviewees share their problems to me and I believe that problems is not only a trouble for them, but also a precious opportunity to make people with disabilities’ life experience becoming much better. 

After the interviews, me and my design classmates use role play activity to make a clear view of their daily life, we borrowed a manual wheelchair and use it to go around in Huntington Hall, but the research solution is disappointing for me, even this building which accommodates lessons about people with disability, it is not completely accessible. No one cleans the ramp of this building, instead, people chose to close that door with ramp. And there is only one bottom is other side’s auto door, there is no bottom between two heavy auto doors, people with disability or the elders use walkers should go through that door quickly, if they cannot pass those doors in 15 seconds, they need to open it by themselves, but the truth is they cannot make it, that door is even hard to push by a young people. I feel so angry and anxious when I cannot make it, such as there is no body care about me and when somebody come to help, I felt embarrass and ridiculous, because I  need help sometimes, however I really hope that I can be more independent, I hope that I can go everywhere with wheelchair by myself. I really felt the mood but that is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Like aphasia, they understand everything in their mind, but no one knows their feeling form their perspective, because they cannot make a meaningful sentence or some simple words to communicate. Bad communication also gives it no access to the outside world, if the individual and organization leave the people with disability alone as aphasia, they will lose hope and be angry. There is must something push the society’s improvement and let everyone in this society knowing their feel, instead of letting the people with disability struggle on their life and rights. 

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