Introduction : Into the fields of stubborn obstacles and lingering exclusion
Summary, in English
Accessibility today has a contradictory character. One the one hand, people with disabilities are welcomed and included, with ambitious promises in policies and declarations. On the other hand, they are still excluded in everyday practices. This volume explores this contradiction in three areas: city and transport, knowledge and education, and law, institutions and history. Sweden is the primary case, but the ambition is wider. The compilation includes studies rooted in disability studies, social work and sociology, as well as ethnology, cultural geography and gender studies, political science and law, architecture, history, anthropology and linguistics. It involves a range of theories and methods, from participant observation to historical analyses using archival data, from critical disability theory to ethnomethodology. Since resistance to accessibility today takes various forms, and transforms as society itself changes, we need to equip ourselves with a corresponding plurality and dexterity. Researchers have to be on the move, like the United Nations itself, whose 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities looks complete but requires constant monitoring to get nation-states to actualise its intentions. To study accessibility is to study exclusion and its constant drama, and in a democratic society this is highly relevant.