A holistic approach to universal design wants to make the workspace better for all
Google software engineer Sasha Blair-Goldensohn takes issues of accessibility very personally. The lifelong New Yorker, who was injured when a tree fell on him during a walk through Central Park in 2009, now uses a wheelchair to get around, including the company’s office on 8th Avenue in New York, a massive former Port Authority Building.
The building’s massive floorplates mean 500 or so people can work on each floor, so most employees don’t need to use the stairs much. But when Blair-Goldensohn, now a paraplegic, finished rehab and began working in the office again in 2010, he realized accessibility could be improved. Additional automatic door openers and more ramps, while not required by building code or law, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), all of which the building already met, could help himself and other Google employees with disabilities be more mobile, active, and welcome. But there wasn’t a process in place to push these improvements.
“It wasn’t like somebody was saying, ‘hey, let’s make things harder for Sasha,’” he said during a meeting at the Google offices. “But like many diversity issues, there wasn’t somebody in a wheelchair doing the design. The designers were thinking about how we could make a great space that looks cool.”
Read the full story HERE >>>> Source: Google’s new plan to create more accessible offices – Curbed