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Accessible enough?: Legitimising half-measures of accessibility in Swedish urban environments
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA). (Funktionshinder och Rehabilitering)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6532-5549
2022 (English)In: Accessibility Denied: Understanding Inaccessibility and Everyday Resistance to Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities / [ed] Hanna Egard; Kristofer Hansson; David Wästerfors, London: Routledge, 2022, 1, p. 13-25Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter aims to contribute with an understanding of how inaccessibility is legitimised and normalised in Swedish cities even when it is tangible and well-known to the authorities. Although independent and equal access is the overarching principle of policies, regulations and conventions, city centres are full of half-measures that only grant access if staff or passers-by are able to help out. A rhetorical analysis of interviews with professionals working with accessibility shows that these half-measures are legitimised as ‘just as good’ or ‘the only way’ to improve access. Accessibility measures are further described as ‘ugly’ or ‘unthinkable’ since they are perceived as challenging the purity of design or architectural style. What is considered accessible enough is constructed in the intersection of the conflicting norms, values and principles that socio-spatially order the city. This means that accessibility is outcompeted, or downplayed inaccessibility is reproduced, and half-measures are legitimised as the only possible option. The conflicts of interests, norms, values and regulations that cut through and circumscribe barrier removal need to be acknowledged, as well as the complexities of the professionals’ work. Everyday accessibility work is not only about technical skills, economic recourses or knowledge of disabling barriers, it is also about rhetorical skills and presenting convincing arguments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2022, 1. p. 13-25
Series
Interdisciplinary Disability Studies, ISSN 2693-4418, E-ISSN 2693-440X
Keywords [en]
Disability, Accessibility, Inaccessibility, Reasonable accomodation, Disability Rights, Extreme cases
Keywords [sv]
Funktionshinder, Enkelt avhjälpta hinder, Tillgängliglighet, Otillgänglighet. anpassning
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Health and society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-46823DOI: 10.4324/9781003120452-3ISBN: 978-0-367-63728-6 (print)ISBN: 978-0-367-63730-9 (print)ISBN: 978-1-003-12045-2 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-46823DiVA, id: diva2:1610906
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and WelfareAvailable from: 2021-11-12 Created: 2021-11-12 Last updated: 2022-07-14Bibliographically approved

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Egard, Hanna

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