Posts tagged with "Accessibility":
As Justin Davidson wrote in New York Magazine, "Staircases can be wonderful, providing drama, seating, exercise, and hangout spaces all at once—but they must never be the only option. Holl’s design, as sensitive as it is in many ways, fails to take that mandate seriously." In a statement to Gothamist, Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott said, “Our goal is to be inclusive and provide access and opportunity to all.” The library plans to move the fiction stacks to another location in the library and provide the community with updates as they come.
Don't worry! If disabled people want books from those inaccessible areas (ugh fine) they'll just have staff go get them! Because they'll just never hire disabled librarians! What a perfect solution for everyone!!!— Angie Manfredi (@misskubelik) October 4, 2019
In an ongoing effort to reimagine the transit nexus at Broadway Junction in East New York and its surrounding built environment, officials in Brooklyn have released preliminary ideas of what the area could look like. City leaders convened the Broadway Junction Working Group for the first time in October 2017 and, working with WXY Architecture + Urban Design, have since assembled a list of recommendations for improvements to the area in terms of transit equity, economic development, neighborhood amenities, and public space. With a series of interconnected subway stations that services the A, C, J, Z, and L lines, the area presents a significant opportunity to provide, as the recommendations suggest, “more good jobs, new retail and services, and active streets and public spaces—with an improved and accessible transit hub at its core.”
Currently, Broadway Junction suffers from a variety of factors that inhibit its potential as a hub of economic and social activity. Poor lighting under the elevated subway structures, as well as numerous parking lots in the immediate vicinity of the stations, make the surrounding blocks particularly hostile to people. With the integration of seating, greenery, public programming, and new infrastructural elements under the tracks, city officials and WXY hope to open up Broadway Junction’s public spaces for use by residents of the surrounding communities.
Overall, the plan calls for a mixed-use district that responds to the needs of the neighborhood without risking the widespread displacement of small businesses and residents that often accompanies major transit-related development projects. With the resources of the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) at their disposal, business owners will be able to take advantage of commercial tenant legal services, business training courses, and other services. There will also be an effort to render the streetscape safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists alike. Improvements to road circulation and various traffic-calming measures will ensure that those who drive, take transit, or walk in the area will be able to interact under less dangerous conditions. The subway stations at the junction will also be retrofitted to be more accessible to passengers with disabilities.
The Broadway Junction Working Group is supported by the Department of City Planning (DCP), the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT), the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR), among other agencies.
With questions over the integrity of American elections swirling across the country, designers are stepping up to ensure that necessary improvements are made to critical voting infrastructure before 2020. Making use of ElectionGuard technology developed by Microsoft’s Defending Democracy Program, industrial designer Tucker Viemeister has teamed up with fabrication studio Radii, Inc. to create a more accessible, easy-to-use voting machine for polling stations. While the software components of the machine make it more difficult to hack and less confusing for users, Viemeister’s hardware design attempts to accommodate a diverse array of American voters.
The prototype of the proposed machine has three main components: a touch-screen tablet, an auxiliary control device with multiple inputs for other assistive implements, and a dedicated printer for backup paper ballots. The auxiliary device is an Xbox Adaptive Controller, which was originally developed for gamers with limited mobility. Its oversized, black pads make it easier to navigate information presented on the screen, a particularly important feature for voters who are unable to use touch screens. Those who need additional assistance, including voters who use sip and puff machines, can have their devices plugged into one of six jacks along the edge of the voting machine.
The attached printer produces a hard copy of every ballot filled out on the screen—a measure that is widely recognized as an important safety net in the event of technological failure. The designers argue that their specially developed hardware integrates and optimizes the effectiveness of Microsoft's secure voting software. While it is unclear where, when, or if the voting machine will ever be fully implemented, the design takes critical steps in imagining how future American elections might become more transparent, accessible, and safe.According to Radii, "Working collaboratively with Radii Principal Ed Wood and his team, the fundamental working parts (the electronic 'guts') of the design were combined with Radii’s extensive fabrication knowledge to execute Viemeister’s vision for the minimalist 'box,' tablet support and printer housings. The goals were simple: Make something that works dependably, fabricated in 2 weeks and looks good without looking overdesigned. After an intense few days of working design sessions with Viemeister, and a few rounds of chipboard mock-ups, testing appearance, and functionality; the design was finalized and ready for production. All visible components and housings (other than the retrofitted shelf tablet bezel) were scratch built around Viemeister's initial concept sketches and a logical assemblage of working parts to minimize depth of 'pizza box' housings."