Mathias Rechtzigel

U.S. Digital Response | Accessibility 101 Happy Hour

Policy and regulation are often created in response to a need. Basic human needs. It often takes an individual making noise and creating pain to effect change for groups.

This was an "Accessibility 101" conversation. I started to push into areas beyond "how can we create a more accessible form".

Policy and Resiliency #

On April 12, 2022 I facilitated a fun happy hour session with U.S. Digital Response. Topics included accessibility, resiliency with a light touch on policy.

I spoke on the story of Ed Roberts (Link to 99 Percent Invisible | Episode 308 | Curb Cuts). How he smashed down curbs to create curb cuts. It paints a picture of how activism pushes public policy for the better.

But when the policy is here, who is responsible to maintain it?

For example Minneapolis, we have curb cuts and the city is mostly walkable. For 6 months of the year. Then winter rolls around. The sidewalks turn into an icy hellscape, impassible for people with mobility issues.

The city of Minneapolis doesn't maintain the sidewalks themselves. The policy in place puts the responsibility on individuals. These individuals without appropriate nudges wont actually maintain it.

If the policy we have in place can't maintain itself than it's not resilient or self healing. If a system isn't resilient or self healing than it will erode and become hostile.

This is something I'm hoping to explore further. How can we instill a sense of responsibility in individuals. Through education and training. So that we all can make better decisions that lead to better outcomes for everyone.