Project for disabled people, project for people with disabilities.

Apparently it may seem to be a matter of language. Current language and its forms of application remain as an expression of culture, degree of civilisation, way of thinking, and level of attention. Some contemporary authors, indeed, define human language as an instrument of thinking.

The Convention on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities

Following an evolutionary process of current language that always tends to improve also in relation to the respect and sensitivity of individuals, the choices made by important government institutions such as the UN with the “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” are evident. Persons with disabilities is the term officially used by the Italian State, in all likelihood in order to focus attention on the person and not on the pathology or physical condition.

This choice and this expression, when it’s in relation to or accompanied by the project, supports its innovative and contemporary meaning (from the Latin: pro in advance jacere throw; what is thrown in advance). Moreover, providing design services, products, or anything else for the disabled or differently abled is almost an oxymoron: what can improve quality of life, autonomy and the right to access and use is opposed by respect for people.

Even more than architectural barriers, then, it’s cultural barrier that can have a major social impact on the disciplines and manifestations of human activity. The ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health) had already laid the foundations for revising certain paradigms: “Disabilities are the result of the interaction between people affected by physical and mental impairments, the obstacles posed by the environment and the behaviour of others that prevent effective and full social integration on the basis of a principle of equality between men.”

Once again, Design for All is more far-sighted and discreet when it comes to human diversity, including in relation to desires and ambitions.