Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

What is Accessibility?

Filed under: Accessibility 100 — by at 1:29 pm on Monday, August 25, 2008

Accessibility 100

In the Accessibility 100 series, I have been sharing practical tips for increasing accessibility for people with disabilities. But, what is accessibility, really?

To me, accessibility is much more than building codes and checklists. It is also very much about the human factor and the intangible. I’ve developed an acrostic (still pretty much a draft) for ACCESSIBILITY:

AAccepting attitudes: Without acceptance of people with disabilities, accessibility is pointless.

CCreativity: Finding an accessible solution oftentimes requires thinking outside of the box.

CCitizenship: Accessibility enables an individual to be a participating member of a community.

EEncompassing: Accessibility encompasses all facets of life.

SSociety’s values:The level of accessibility, in terms of physical access and acceptance, reflects how a society values its citizens with disabilities.

SSuccess: When I can get where I need to go and do what I need to do, that is definitely a success!

IIncreases independence: There is so much I can do myself because of accessibility.

BBelonging: When I can physically get somewhere, I have a sense I belong there.

IInitiative: Accessibility doesn’t merely happen. It takes effort and commitment. It requires initiative.

LLiving life: The higher the degree of accessibility, the more able I am to live my life as fully as possible.

IInteraction: Accessible buildings, accessible services and accepting attitudes enable greater interaction among people, all people.

TTeamwork: For a place of business or an organization to be accessible, it requires a commitment from every level. Accessibility entails communication and teamwork.

YYou: Accessibility actually begins with you: you welcoming me, you keeping aisles clear, you installing a grab bar or automatic door opener, you approving the budget, you launching an accessibility improvement project, you holding the door open. You make accessibility possible. Thank you.

What does accessibility mean to you?

Accessibility 100 is a series of 100 easy-to-implement, free and inexpensive tips for improving accessibility for people with disabilities. This is a community project. Feel free to leave your comments, questions and ideas for future Accessibility 100 posts.

Get the entire series by subscribing to this blog by filling in the form in the upper right corner or by subscribing to the RSS feed.

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Comment by Karen Putz / DeafMom

August 25, 2008 @ 4:50 pm

To me, accessibility means equality and respect. 🙂

Comment by Glenda

August 25, 2008 @ 8:34 pm

Equality and respect – most definitely, Karen!

Comment by Ruth Ellison

August 26, 2008 @ 3:29 am

Ditto deafmom’s comments! In addition, accessibility to me means going beyond compliance and checklists and being all about the people.

Comment by Glenda

August 26, 2008 @ 12:00 pm

Most definitely, Ruth! It seems like the reason for accessibility is often overlooked.

Comment by Shawna R. B. Atteberry

September 4, 2008 @ 6:02 am

Glenda, I came over from Liz’s post about you. You rock.


Comment by Beryl

September 9, 2008 @ 4:15 am

Thank you for your blog Glenda and for encouraging me to think about these issues. Accessibility for me means inclusion.

Comment by Kara

February 12, 2009 @ 11:05 am

I definitely think this could serve as a cornerstone to your presentation/talk. For me-Accessibility is a dignified bridge to full participation in society. It’s as just about elevators and curb cuts as it is the active removal of attitudinal barriers.

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