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Disability Accessibility: News and Information

Updated/Revised Date: 2022-04-12
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)
Additional References: Disability Accessibility Publications

Synopsis: The Disabled World accessibility category covers a range of topics including ADA and DDA accessible regulations. While accessibility is often used to describe facilities or amenities to assist people with disabilities, as in "wheelchair accessible", the term can extend to Braille signage, wheelchair ramps, elevators, audio signals at pedestrian crossings, walkway contours, website design, and so on. An Accessibility Plan sets out how each local authority plans to improve access to employment, learning, health care, food shops, and other services of local importance, particularly for disadvantaged groups and areas.

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Accessibility can be defined as the "ability to access" the functionality, and possible benefit, of some system or entity and is used to describe the degree to which a product such as a device, service, environment is accessible by as many people as possible. The concept of accessible design ensures both "direct access" (i.e., unassisted) and "indirect access" meaning compatibility with a person's assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). Accessibility is strongly related to universal design, which is the process of creating products that are usable by people with the widest possible range of abilities, operating within the widest possible range of situations. This is about making things accessible to all people (whether they have a disability or not).

Accessibility is often used to focus on people with disabilities and their right of access to entities, often through use of assistive technology. Several definitions of accessibility refer directly to access-based individual rights laws and regulations. Products or services designed to meet these regulations are typically termed Easy Access or Accessible.

While accessibility is typically used to describe facilities or amenities to assist people with disabilities, as in "wheelchair accessible", the term can extend to Braille signage, wheelchair ramps, elevators, audio signals at pedestrian crossings, walkway contours, website design, and so on.

Another dimension of accessibility is the ability to access information and services by minimizing the barriers of distance and cost, as well as the usability of the interface. In many countries, this has led to initiatives, laws, and regulations that aim toward providing universal access to the internet and to phone systems at reasonable cost to citizens.

Large yellow overhead sign with smaller signs displaying black writing and silouette symbols.
Large yellow overhead sign with smaller signs displaying black writing and silouette symbols.

The disability rights movement advocates equal access to social, political, and economic life which includes not only physical access but access to the same tools, services, organizations, and facilities which we all pay for.

Disability Management (DM) is a specialized area of human resources, to support efforts by employers to better integrate and retain workers with disabilities. Some workplaces have policies in place to provide "reasonable accommodation" for employees with disabilities. However, many do not. In some jurisdictions, employers may have legal requirements to end discrimination against persons with disabilities.

Different Countries Have Legislation Requiring Physical Accessibility

An Accessibility Plan sets out how each local authority plans to improve access to employment, learning, health care, food shops and other services of local importance, particularly for disadvantaged groups and areas.

Urban Design Accessibility

Accessibility modifications to conventional urban environments has become common in recent decades. The use of a curb cut, or kassel curb, to enable wheelchair or walker movement between sidewalk and street level is found in most major cities of wealthy countries. The creation of priority parking spaces and of disabled parking permits has made them a standard feature of urban environments. Features that assist people with visual impairments include braille signs and tactile paving to allow a user with a cane to easily identify stairways, train platforms, and similar areas that could pose a physical danger to anyone who has a visual impairment.

Disability Accessibility Guide for Towns - Americans with Disabilities Act

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Subtopics and Associated Subjects


Latest Disability Accessibility Publications
Making STEMM Accessible for People with Disabilities thumbnail image.
A research team is calling for ways to make work in STEMM more accessible for the disabled.
Publish Date: 2022-12-03

U.S. railway company Amtrak starts compensating disabled experiencing inaccessibility at rail stations.
Publish Date: 2021-02-05
USICD Releases New White Paper on CRPD Monitoring thumbnail image.
Closing the Accountability Loop: Stakeholders Understanding and Monitoring of the Implementation of CRPD Article 32.
Publish Date: 2018-06-20 - Updated: 2018-09-19

International Code Council releases update to 2009 ICC A117.1 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities standard that provides greater accessibility to buildings for persons with physical disabilities and incorporates new elements of building design.
Publish Date: 2017-06-29 - Updated: 2018-03-15

Additional Disability Accessibility Publications

Disabled World is an independent disability community founded in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative reviews, exclusive stories and how-tos. You can connect with us on social media such as Twitter and Facebook or learn more about Disabled World on our about us page.

Disabled World provides general information only. The materials presented are never meant to substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Financial support is derived from advertisements or referral programs, where indicated. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.


Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2022, April 12). Disability Accessibility: News and Information. Disabled World. Retrieved February 5, 2023 from www.disabled-world.com/disability/accessibility/

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