Reply To: Using the word “accessible”

  • Joan Pahisa

    August 7, 2021 at 8:54 am

    I think that, as you mentioned, accessible is a relative term. In the world of accessible technology that I’m most familiar with, when you say that something is accessible, you need to specify the accessibility features, otherwise, as the term is relative, you don’t know for whom is accessible and for whom it’s not. I think that the problem comes when people not familiar with accessibility use the term (or people into marketing), as they use accessible thinking that it will be universally accessible. For instance, in hotels or accommodations sites before accessibility was only mentioned as a single feature, but, as awareness was risen, they realized or were made to realized that it was insufficient and that to avoid problems and misunderstandings now many sites have started to include different accessibility features (width of entrance and doors, elevator, availability of information in Braille, in easy-to-Read format, etc.). Thus I think that, although it may be complicated, this is the way to go. To talk about accessibility features and, for the ease of use, use the word accessible to describe things, places, etc., that have some form of accessibility, although always, along the description, specify which accessibility features are included. We’re a really diverse community, so even though we may say accessible, I think that it’s for each person to decide if something is accessible for them, therefore the importance of stating the accessibility features, as only saying wheelchair accessible or stating the group that accessibility is aimed at, may have the same issue as it won’t be accessible for all wheelchair users, for all people with visual impairments, etc.

Skip to content