Reply To: Using the word “accessible”

  • Chris G Veitch

    August 11, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    Josh, as I tried to reflect you raise a really interesting point. I would never say you cannot use the word accessible, but if it is used I think it has to be also the context needs to be given, e.g. for whom is the accessibility intended or aimed at, I think the use of the term is often seen as shorthand for accessible for wheelchair users, but even then it can be subjective. That is why I think that perhaps that in addition to context the use of words such as aim, intended, intention, which give a qualification, and reflects the motivation of the business but it not a universal guarantee.

    This is why I say raise a really interesting point as this is valid question that goes to the heart of so much information and marketing, but if people are not to be disappointed between marketing promise and experience there does need to be some clarity of a person being able to say, is this accessible for me, which is why I think the word could be used, with a qualification as stated above and where the is detailed information provided in an access statement or photos etc signpost to that information. The answer is very difficult I think and there may be no definitive answer that pleases everyone, but that is not to say the question should no be asked as we do need to have answers if people are to be helped be inspired and make decisions based on the stated accessibility of any goods and services.

    Of course a lot of what I have said also becomes academic, I also recognise that what I am suggesting could be seen as cumbersome and complicating things, when we look at things in the context of Universal / Inclusive Design and service as we should have the confidence then to understand that the aim there is to make accessibility a reality for everyone, in that context it is possibly much simpler. It’s a really interesting topic for discussion and a very important one in my view.

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