Introduction to Accessibility
Accessibility affects all aspects of our daily living:
- Communicating with others
- Navigating physical environment
- Using public transport
- Obtaining and using basic goods and services, such as grocery shopping, banking and financial services, helpline, government services, etc.
- Reading webpages and articles, and understanding video and audio content
- Understanding and obtaining important information, such as public announcements, disaster response, aid assistance, healthcare information and available services, education materials, etc.
- Participating in cultural and leisure activities
Unfortunately, our environment is not built or designed to accommodate the diverse differences in the way we interact with our environment, physical or otherwise. Hence, persons with disabilities face multiple barriers in doing things that are easy to non-disabled persons.
Importance of Accessibility and Inclusive Design
- It is the right of persons with disabilities to access and use facilities, products, services, programmes, etc. without barriers.
- Accessible and inclusive design benefits everyone, whether they have disability or not. When something is designed to address accessibility issues for one person, many other people who struggle with similar issues can access and use the facility, product, service, or programme with greater ease. Thus, increasing its usability.
- Accessible and inclusive design reduces costs of retrofitting, improvisation, and maintenance.
Accessibility = GO! A Guide to Action by World Blind Union and CBM Global Disability Inclusion.
- The guide describes a whole-of-organisation approach to accessibility covering aspects such as built environments, information and communications, procurement of goods and services, training and capacity development, programmes, meetings and events, recruitment, and human resource (HR) management.
Inclusive Design Toolkit Manual by Microsoft
Artificial intelligence and the rights of persons with disabilities by United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Gerard Quinn