The Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) is an international non-governmental educational organization (NGO) committed to advancing the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages, abilities and cultures through excellence in design.
Todd Hanson will share his experiences of living with a rare neuromuscular disease which took him from being a Boston Marathoner to becoming clumsy, to using a walker and eventually a wheelchair. Along the way he discovered the realities of mobility impairments. For an architect who knew the ADA and accessibility codes well, living it has been an eye-opening experience. Join us for this noon presentation, March 22, at the Institute for Human Centered Design.
Part One: Learning Not to Walk - Lessons learned from an architect who has experienced mobility transformations. As a child, most of us instinctively learn to walk. When that ability is taken away in adulthood, the process isn't so simple.
Part Two: Access Portsmouth - After experiencing countless frustrations in an attempt to enjoy dining and culture in his hometown of Portsmouth, NH, Todd hatched an idea to create a simple web-based guide to this historic and vibrant seacoast destination. Anne Weidman, a colleague, stepped in to become the voice and mobility of Access Portsmouth, working with Todd to inspect and review restaurants, bars, breweries and attractions for accessibility to all people. This model is being studied by other towns and regions for replication, and is spreading the spirit of inclusiveness and awareness across New England and beyond.
About the Presenters:
Todd Hanson, AIA
Todd is an architect who prided himself on doing what it took to gain real empathy toward all who would experience his designs. "It wasn't until I became disabled that I could truly appreciate all that I didn't comprehend in regards to barriers, accessibility and inclusive environments." As principal at JSA Inc in Portsmouth, NH, Todd leads the healthcare design studio. For several years he chaired the BSA's Healthcare Facilities Committee and has focused his career on tailoring environments to meet the emotional and physical needs of disparate users.
Anne leads the marketing effort at JSA Inc. She has served on the board of a brain injury center, and recently became a sighted guide for blind ice skaters. As 'Inspector General' she works with business owners and managers, evaluating restaurants and attractions and writing clear and concise Access Portsmouth reviews.
Access Portsmouth helps people of all abilities know what to expect when they visit Portsmouth. 'Investigators' visit local businesses with the goal of determining the:
- Accessibility of the front entrance
- Usability of the surroundings
- Ability to use a restroom
- Most convenient place to park
Access Portsmouth's overall goal is far reaching: to raise awareness where it's lacking, inspire a spirit of inclusiveness, and influence other communities to do the same throughout New England and beyond.