Accessibility is Inclusivity
Guests: Bill Welsh and Desiree White
The pandemic forced many university operations online, which opened up opportunities and possibilities for people with disabilities. In this episode of Holding Space, Bill Welsh and Desiree White discuss ways to shift thinking about accessibility and examine what universal practices from the pandemic we should hold on to.
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Read the transcript for episode four, "Accessibility is Inclusivity."
During the conversation, there were questions inspired by Bill Welsh and Desiree White that listeners can think about in relation to accessibility and their work on campus.
- What are you doing to be ready to create spaces that reduce or eliminate barriers for access?
- In what ways can practices adopted during remote learning continue to benefit our current and future class environments?
The term "accommodation" may be used to describe an alteration of environment, curriculum format, or equipment that allows an individual with a disability to gain access to content and/or complete assigned tasks. They allow students with disabilities to pursue a regular course of study.
Accessibility is when the needs of people with disabilities are specifically considered, and products, services, and facilities are built or modified so that they can be used by people of all abilities.
First documented as the response to the advocacy of people in wheelchairs, these sidewalk indentations turned out to benefit many: those pulling suitcases on wheels, pushing babies and young children in strollers, bikers, workers with large racks making deliveries, and many others. The Curb-Cut Effect is a vibrant illustration of how laws and programs designed to benefit vulnerable groups, such as the disabled or people of color, often end up benefiting all.
“a11y” stands for “accessibility.” It is a numeronym, with 11 representing the count of letters between the letter a and the letter y.
The word accessibility has different meanings in different contexts. On the internet, the use of the term a11y helps to identify content related specifically to digital accessibility.
Also, #A11Y can be searched on social media platforms to access conversations about accessibility topics.
'Office Hours' Resources
'Office Hours' is a segment of the show where guests are asked to share resources that listeners can use to learn more about the topic of discussion.
Accessibility is for Everyone - Book by Laura Kalbag
Accessibility Talks - A YouTube meet-up group that features speakers and conversations around the topic of digital accessibility.
Rutgers University Access and Disability Resources - Central unit at Rutgers that works with all of the Offices of Disability Services (ODS) at every Rutgers University campus location to provide reasonable accommodations and services for students with disabilities.
Rutgers Barrier Buster Page - Website that provides resources at the University that help eliminate barriers to a full Rutgers experience.