Accessibility is the concept of ensuring that places, products, and services are fully open to and usable by people with all types of disabilities. However, meaningful implementation of accessibility goes well beyond this basic definition. It’s not just about installing automatic door openers and ramps or using the correct color contrast on a website. It’s about committing to inclusive practices at every level and in every aspect of the work you do. This encompasses, but is not limited to, accessibility of facilities and processes including, hiring, grantmaking, and event planning.
Your Learning Journey
To begin, take time to familiarize yourself with legal accessibility requirements. But remember, true accessibility goes beyond compliance with the law. It’s imperative to focus on working collaboratively with disabled people to build and rebuild environments and processes that are welcoming to all. This means fostering a workplace culture supportive of employees self-identifying as disabled, hiring people with disabilities, bringing on paid disabled consultants and advisors. It means ensuring that disabled people are leading the way.
As you navigate this part of your learning journey, we encourage you to ask yourself: how does this practice, policy, or project ensure access and inclusion for the disability community?