According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary * accessible means:
- a. capable of being reached. b. easy to speak or deal with
- capable of being used or seen
- capable of being understood or appreciated
- capable of being influenced
The online Oxford dictionary ** added a part:
- able to be reached, entered or used by people who have a disability
- (of a person, especially one in position of authority) friendly and easy to talk to.
The definition of accessibility that the Oxford dictionary listed additionally, “able to be reached, entered or used by people who have a disability.” The American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) became a law in July of 1990. This law helps prevent discrimination of people with disabilities in the workforce, in public transportation, in the government and in how the public accommodates people with disabilities. 27 years ago, I’m happy to say that America realized the need to allow people with disabilities standard rights that they deserve so they can be involved and active individuals in their own lives and the community.
As a parent of a child with a disability, I am hyper aware of all the accommodations needed for someone with a (physical) disability. I’m always very thankful when there are easily accessible ramps, handicap push buttons on doors and a means to travel between floors in a public place. When Tough Guy was younger, it wasn’t a huge deal if something wasn’t reachable because just like all parents, you pick your child up and carry them many places. As Tough Guy grows, I am aware of these limitations and their impact on his life. Things shouldn’t be an extra challenge because you can’t access the place.
When I looked up these definitions I realize, Accessible Nest, isn’t just about that extra definition that Oxford defined it as. Yes, indeed it is about being able to reach and enter places if you have a disability. But it’s also about being understood and appreciated, being seen, and being able to reach your potential so that you are accessible to others.
* from www.merriamwebster.com