February 1, 2021

Free Webinar~What Can A Body Do? Accessibility in the Built Environment

Join America Walks for a conversation with Sara Hendren about her book What Can a Body Do? How We Meet the Built World. Walking or wheeling, accompanied or alone, getting around in public space means getting into the public sphere–and for people with disabilities, the very fabric of streets and sidewalks and architecture has had to be remade, edited and altered, to make moving around possible for all of us. Sharing the city and sharing civic life isn’t easy or obvious, but the design of those spaces can help us build the collective futures we want.

Sara Hendren, design researcher at Olin College, will share stories and examples of the generative, surprising, and universally human ways we can think anew about the design of our homes, workplaces, city streets and more. Elizabeth Guffey and Claire Stanley will join the conversation during a robust Q and A session for the second half of the webinar.


Sara Hendren is a humanist in tech—an artist, design researcher, writer, and professor at Olin College of Engineering outside Boston. Her new book What Can A Body Do? How We Meet the Built World explores the unexpected places where disability is at the heart of everyday design, and uncovers the lessons available in all the ways our bodies connect with the material world: household objects, architecture, urban planning, and more; it was included in NPR’s Best Books of 2020. Her work has been widely exhibited around the world and is held in the permanent collections at MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt museums.

Elizabeth Guffey works at the intersection of art, design and disability studies. Her book Designing Disability: Symbols, Space and Society (Bloomsbury) argues that designs like the International Symbol of Access or “wheelchair symbol” can alter the environment, making people more disabled or less, depending on the design’s planning and use. She is also Founding Editor of the academic journal Design and Culture. Guffey currently heads the MA in Modern and Contemporary Art, Criticism and Theory at the State University of New York, Purchase College.

Claire Stanley is the Public Policy Analyst at the National Disability Rights Network. Prior to her position with NDRN, Claire worked as an advocate with the American Council of the Blind where she advocated for the rights of blind and visually impaired persons, both on a direct level as well as on Capitol Hill. Claire has worked previously at two P&As: at Disability Rights California as a summer legal extern, and with Disability Rights D.C. at University Legal Services as a legal fellow under the PAMI program. Claire received her B.A. in political science and communication from the University of California Davis in 2011 and a J.D. from the University of California Irvine in 2015. As a person with a disability, Ms. Stanley believes strongly in the rights of all persons with disabilities.

DATE: Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PST

You can find more information and register at this link.


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