Contesting Urban Space and Disability in Highland Ecuador

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Abstract

This article examines the experiences of people with physical and visual disabilities encountering inaccessible urban spaces in highland Ecuador. I draw on the notion of “embodied space” to explore how people with disabilities have begun to contest discourses of contagion, exclusion, and pity through collective action and spatial tactics aimed at constructing more inclusive spaces, such as community centers or public plazas. Through ethnographic analysis of both conflicts over transportation systems and public rallies aimed at social awareness, I argue that Ecuadorians with disabilities face new forms of socio-spatial exclusion as they challenge legacies of isolation and stigma.

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