Mobility challenges of people with disabilities research project

(with Nadia von Benzon, Lancaster University and James Bonehill, North Star Consultancy)

Working with adults with Cerebral Palsy in Birmingham, our research is uncovering the complex inter-relationship between the accessibility of the urban environment for those with impaired gross motor skills, and the ability of these people to lead full and independent lives. We draw on a framework that considers mobility as movement, meaning-making and political, and are demonstrating the reality of differentiated mobility. The results from our detailed ‘go along’ and post-journey interviews are revealing the extent to which those with bodies that function outside the presumed operating parameters of the model subjects of urban design, mobility may be possible, but is often uncomfortable and even dangerous, with significant associated effects for impaired people’s autonomy.

University members