This paper is part of a larger lecture series entitled "Digital Humanities and the Ancient World." The events are co-sponsored by the AHMA Colloquium and the Townsend Center for the Humanities.
The coinage the preservation of disability calls for an aesthetic and rights-based paradigm that can direct the conservation of art and the preservation of architecture -- beyond the goals of access and accessibility. I examine how theories and practices central to identifying and maintaining historic cultural artifacts chiefly art conservation and architecture preservation -- can reconstruct material aspects of cultural artifacts -- leaving critical qualities of culture transformed for all. What I call the preservation of disability radicalizes existing accessibility strategies that address the different manner in which people interpret and can experience cultural artifacts by bringing alternate forms of interpretation into the very surfaces, stones and aesthetic sensibilities that comprise cultural monuments. This lecture explains why and how this can be done.