Gallaudet 11 and Disability Ambassadors

You may have heard about the recent zero-g flight with 12 “disability ambassadors” who participated in various studies.

The 12 ambassadors on board, which included people with mobility, vision and hearing disabilities, conducted demonstrations and experiments during the flight. They aim to use their experience to improve the understanding of what spacecraft environments could and should be like to be more inclusive and accessible for all.

However, they were not the first group with a disability to take off. In fact, the Gallaudet 11 joined NASA in the 1950’s to study prolonged weightlessness. All but one had become deaf early in their lives due to spinal meningitis, which damaged the vestibular systems of their inner ear in a way that made them “immune” to motion sickness.

Published by Ted

Accessibility is more than making sure images have alternate text. I work with engineers, product managers, and designers to understand how accessibility impacts the users, set realistic deadlines, and create the solutions to provide a delightful experience to all users, regardless of their physical, sensory, or cognitive ability.

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