In collaboration with Cork CIL, Michael O’Donnell has undertaken a Community-Academic Research Links (CARL) project at UCC that explores the lived experiences of wheelchair users in Cork City. A short abstract follows:
People who use wheelchairs regularly encounter physical access barriers while living their everyday lives in the urban environment. This study focuses explicitly on the experiences of people who use wheelchairs accessing a built environment which is designed with an ‘able-bodied’ focus. In this study, I uncover the power relationships built into the physical environment which serve to marginalise and exclude. I explore how, despite decades of advocacy for a social model, much social policy and legislation around disability still draw from theories of a medical model. It is evident from the findings that much work still needs to be done to enable people who use wheelchairs to live fully independent lives and be fully included with regards to the built environment.
The full report is available from the link below: