Entanglements, Dis_Abilities and Inclusion in Public Spaces (Enabling Spaces)
Funded by: FWF
Principal Investigator: Tabea Bork-Hüffer
Co-Authors and Research Associates: Johannes Melchert & Jan Misera
Project Period: 2024 – 2027
The FWF-project Enabling Spaces uses an innovative young-people-centred and inclusive mixed-method approach that contributes to a deeper understanding of the complexities of young disabled people’s experiences, practices and negotiations of inclusion and exclusion in their everyday public spaces. Particular attention will be paid to the role of digital technologies and the increasing digitisation of public spaces and the diverse consequences this has for young people with disabilities. By employing an ethically-reflected approach with phases of co-production, the Enabling Spaces project team seeks making young disabled people’s experiences, needs and visions visible to society together with them, while stimulating social debates on more inclusive and enabling futures.
Although there is an extrapolated number of 1.3. million persons estimated to live with a disability in Austria, which makes 18.4 percent of the resident population, the country has received a great deal of criticism for an insufficient implementation of the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and its responding 2012 National Action Plan Disabilities 2012-2020. To this day many young people with disabilities have to face intersectional discrimination, fostered by a dysfunctional legal protection, while at the same time being underrepresented and even neglected in democratic policies and governing processes of matter to them.
Existing research on young disabled people’s experiences with public spaces has until now mostly been concentrated on urban and especially metropolitan areas which are characterized by a much higher density of physical and social infrastructures and services than rural and peripheral areas. By implementing comparative research in rural and urban communities in Austria with different representational methods as well as mobile and more-than-representational methods, Enabling Spaces seeks not only to research but to co-produce both visions and recommendations for action for more inclusive and enabling public spaces.
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