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This week, Mansfield, a architectonics administrator for MASS Architectonics Group, was called a Affliction Futures Fellow by the Ford Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He’s one of 20 artists about the country to accept the $50,000 grant, a new action and the alone national, multidisciplinary award-winning for creators with disabilities.
“Jeffrey’s a accurate trailblazer, blame accomplished the abstraction of ‘accessibility,’ that architectonics charge board assorted acoustic realities, but that it care to, as he’s said before, imagine, enrich, and bless our abounding means of being,” said Lane Harwell, a affairs administrator focused on adroitness and chargeless announcement at the Ford Foundation.
Mansfield, 36, affairs to use the accolade to added his Deafened Space Archive analysis into how the designs of 19th- and 20th-century schools for the deafened contributed to civic perceptions of deafness as a anatomy — and what that did to deafened students. He campaign the country, acquirements belief of deafened education.
“Deaf institutions tended to be advised by the aforementioned architects that advised accompaniment hospitals for the mentally batty or added accompaniment agencies,” Mansfield said over the buzz from Texas through a assurance accent interpreter. “And agnate to accompaniment hospitals, they were conceived on the ambit of the city, physically and mentally afar from accessible alertness … and alfresco accustomed notions of anatomy and society.”
The Deafened Admiral Now beef movement in 1988 at Gallaudet University, a deafened academy in Washington, D.C., was a axis point for deafened empowerment. It accomplished a baking point afterwards a audition being was assassin to run the university, and two deafened candidates were bypassed. Protestors ultimately got what they wanted, and Irving King Jordan was appointed the university’s aboriginal deafened president.
Since then, Mansfield said, “We’ve apparent added spaces advised to accommodate deafened people’s worldview.”
“Disarming Language: The Architectonics of Deafness,” an exhibition by Mansfield and artisan Christine Sun Kim (another new Affliction Futures Fellow) in Estonia beforehand this year, assorted deafened schools advised by audition architects with those advised by deafened ones, which accommodate innovations in signage, safe spaces, and light.
Out of every 1,000 accouchement built-in in the US, two to three accept apparent audition loss, according to 2016 statistics appear from the Civic Institutes of Health. Ninety percent are built-in to audition parents.
Mansfield said alone a baby allotment of those parents apprentice assurance language. Without signing, deafened accouchement go afloat in the acute aboriginal years of accent acquisition.
He considers himself lucky.
“My parents were amidst by community-centered, research-backed assets early,” he said. “They became chatty in assurance language. It was my aboriginal language.”
He grew up in Arlington and abounding the Acquirements Center for the Deafened in Framingham, a avant-garde in a bilingual/bicultural admission to teaching.
Today, Mansfield lives in Lawrence. His admired amusement is hockey. He won two gold medals arena on the USA Men’s Deaflympic Ice Hockey Team.
“I adulation the concrete acquaintance of it,” he said. “It’s one breadth I’m not beheld for what I can’t do, but for what I can accord on the ice.”
As a architectonics administrator at MASS Architectonics Group, he focuses on deafened spaces and is complex in the Restorative Justice Lab, a aggregation that uses architectonics smarts, Mansfield said, “to agitate the ability of accumulation incarceration in the US. We appetite to brighten the racism and dehumanization that our carceral association unleashes on our communities.”
Prison designs are apprenticed by notions of reform. Historically, so were deafened schools.
“The mission of deafened apprenticeship focused on reforming bodies with a specific affliction … on reintegrating the deafened into society,” said Mansfield, “instead of seeing deafness for its own cultural uniqueness, abounding of active insight.”
“It’s a big honor,” he said of the Affliction Futures fellowship, which he’ll use to aggrandize his research, laying background for designs that advance deafened accouchement rather than arrest them.
“I accomplished aboriginal on the apple was not advised for deafened people,” he said. “So abounding bodies are accomplishing absurd assignment in civilian rights and acknowledged advancement to accretion admission and equality. But we still charge bodies to architectonics that world, to brainstorm it, to appearance that acuteness into reality.”
Cate McQuaid can be accomplished at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @cmcq.
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