- The Oxford Handbook of Disability History
- The Perils and Promises of Disability Biography
- Disability History and Greco-Roman Antiquity
- Intellectual Disability in the European Middle Ages
- Disability in the Premodern Arab World
- Disability and the History of Eugenics
- Social History of Medicine and Disability History
- Material Culture, Technology, and the Body in Disability History
- Designing Objects and Spaces: A Modern Disability History
- Documents, Ethics, and the Disability Historian
- Disability and Work During the Industrial Revolution in Britain
- Disability and Work in South Asia and the United Kingdom
- Disability and Work in British West Africa
- Race, Work, and Disability in Progressive Era United States
- Organized Labor and Disability in Post–World War II United States
- Deaf-Blindness and the Institutionalization of Special Education in Nineteenth-Century Europe
- Disability and Madness in Colonial Asylum Records in Australia and New Zealand
- Madness, Transnationalism, and Emotions in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century New Zealand
- Institutions for People with Disabilities in North America
- Picturing Disability in Eighteenth-Century England
- Disability, Race, and Gender on the Stage in Antebellum America
- Polio and Disability in Cold War Hungary
- Monstrous Births, Birth Defects, Unusual Anatomy, and Disability in Europe and North America
- Disability in Modern Chinese Cinema
- Transnational Interconnections in Nineteenth-Century Western Deaf Communities
- The Disability Rights Movement in the United States
- The Rise of Gay Rights and the Disavowal of Disability in the United States
- Disabled Veterans and the Wounds of War
Abstract and Keywords
Disability is created, measured, and supported through material culture. Technology, a kind of material culture, has an especially close relationship with disability in that it both supports daily activities and is often a primary element in defining who is of worth or qualifies as human. Some of the unique and complicated ways in which disability and material culture interact and intersect are presented here, highlighting such things as sensory and nonverbal information, material expression of inclusion and accessibility, definitions of technology, the prevalence of do-it-yourself solutions, and ideologies of assistance and independence. Also discussed is the use of two broad functions of technology, objects of activity and objects of worth, as an entry point into critical disability studies analysis.
Katherine Ott is an historian and curator in the Division of Medicine and Science at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, and an Associate Professorial Lecturer in American Studies at George Washington University.
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