In 1945 a disabled World War II veteran named Jack Fisher petitioned the city of Kalamazoo, Mich., to make cuts in the street curbs in order to allow him and other wheelchair users to navigate the city more easily. Fortunately for Fisher, the son of Kalamazoo’s city manager also used a wheelchair, and so Fisher’s arguments found a sympathetic audience. Curb cuts were introduced around the city, and thus was born what has become a ubiquitous feature of our built environment today.
In the decades that followed Fisher’s advocacy, as curb cuts became more commonplace, it became clear they were not just for wheelchair users. They proved a welcoming feature of the environment for parents wheeling children about in strollers, for senior citizens who had trouble with stairs and steps, for people temporarily on crutches, for bike riders and skateboarders and more.
[ Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education. ]
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