‘Design meets disability.’ According to the book, the priority for the assistive technology is to enable as little attention as possible. The underlying assumption might be the assistive technology is just a tool for helping the disabled and something to hide or to be ashamed of. So it negatively affects people who are using the assistive technology. They cannot be proud of something they have to wear and live with everyday. Moreover, it causes some bad experiences that might make them hate using the assistive technology.
The problem is raised from the fact that the development of assistive technology is biased in one direction, more functionality. “Ask a different question and you get a different answer.” As Hunter says, we need to solve this problem with different perspective, design. Since the design perspective is closely related to the self-expression and emotion of people, it is possible to solve the existing problems in assistive technology.
However, there are difficulties to embrace the design perspective in assistive technology field. These are brought up by the huge cultural gap between them such as testing vs. feeling, solving vs. exploring, information vs. expression and etc. So the author tries to discuss about how to narrow down the gap and how to adopt the design perspective in the assistive technology field.
I couldn’t agree more with his opinion that design perspective is necessary for the better assistive technology. However, I think we need to consider more about what design and engineering values the most. In turn, the two distinct cultures could find ways to respect each other. I believe this will lead to an ultimate harmony among engineering and design for a better assistive technology.
Also, this interdisciplinary work can be adopted in various areas like ITP. I believe that when we respect each other’s culture and try to engage with each other as an interdisciplinary team, we could have better results and get our own insights about the world like the author has.