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Encyclopedia > Accessibility

Accessibility is a general term used to describe the degree to which a system is usable by as many people as possible. In other words, it is the degree of ease with which it is possible to reach a certain location from other locations. It is not to be confused with usability which is used to describe how easily an entity (e.g., device, service, environment) can be used by any type of user. Accessibility can also be viewed as the "ability to access" the functionality, and possible benefit, of some system or entity; such a definition brings in access-based individual rights laws and regulations that are discussed below. One meaning of accessibility specifically focuses on people with disabilities and their right of access to entities, often through use of assistive devices such as screen-reading web browsers or wheelchairs. Other meanings are discussed below. Image File history File links Please see the file description page for further information. ... Easy Access is a term that describes among other things, the design of buildings, or transport so that anybody regardless of whether they are elderly, pushing a pram, or are disabled can use them. ... Wikipedia (IPA: , or ( ) is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project, operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization. ... Universal design, which is related to inclusive design and design for all, is an approach to the design of products, services and environments to be usable by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation. ... Logic (from Classical Greek λόγος logos; meaning word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle) is the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. ... Accessibility relation is a binary relation R between possible worlds which has very powerful uses in both the formal/theoretical aspects of modal logic as well as in its applications to things like epistemology, metaphysics, and value theory. ... Possible Worlds is: Possible Worlds (play) a play by John Mighton Possible Worlds (poetry book) a book of poems by Peter Porter (poet) Possible Worlds (book) a book by J. B. S. Haldane This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... Usability is a term used to denote the ease with which people can employ a particular tool or other human-made object in order to achieve a particular goal. ...


Accessibility is strongly related to universal design when the approach involves "direct access." This is about making things accessible to all people (whether they have a disability or not). However, products marketed as having benefited from a Universal Design process are often actually the same devices customized specifically for use by people with disabilities.[citation needed] An alternative is to provide "indirect access" by having the entity support the use of a person's assistive technology to achieve access (e.g., screen reader). Universal design, which is related to inclusive design and design for all, is an approach to the design of products, services and environments to be usable by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation. ...

Contents

Disabilities

The disability rights movement advocates equal access to social, political, and economic life which includes not only physical access but access to the same tools, services, organisations and facilities which we all pay for. The disability rights movement aims to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. ...

This is the internationally recognised symbol for accessibility
This is the internationally recognised symbol for accessibility

While it is often used to describe facilities or amenities to assist people with disabilities, as in "wheelchair accessible", the term can extend to Braille signage, wheelchair ramps, audio signals at pedestrian crossings, walkway contours, website design, and so on. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Disabilities are limitations in activity and/or functioning that are attributable to permanent medical conditions in physical, mental, emotional, and/or sensory domains and, significantly, are also due to societal responses to those limitations. ... Easy Access is a term that describes among other things, the design of buildings, or transport so that anybody regardless of whether they are elderly, pushing a pram, or are disabled can use them. ... Braille code where the word (, French for first) can be read. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A pedestrian crossing or crosswalk is a designated point on a road at which some means are employed to assist pedestrians wishing to cross. ... Website accessibility is the degree to which a website is accessible to Internet users with disabilities. ...


Various countries have legislation requiring physical accessibility which are (in order of enactment):

  • In the US, under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, new public and private business construction generally must be accessible. Existing private businesses are required to increase the accessibility of their facilities when making any other renovations in proportion to the cost of the other renovations. The U.S. Access Board is "A Federal Agency Committed to Accessible Design for People with Disabilities." Many states in the US have their own disability laws.
  • In Australia, Disability Discrimination Act 1992 has numerous provisions for accessibility.
  • In the UK, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 has numerous provisions for accessibility.
  • In South Africa The Promotion of Equality and the Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 2000 has numerous provisions for accessibility.
  • In Ontario, Canada, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act of 2001 is meant to "improve the identification, removal and prevention of barriers faced by persons with disabilities..."^^

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is the short title of United States Public Law 101-336, 104 Stat. ... Americans with disabilities comprise one of the largest minority groups in the United States. ... The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) was an act passed by the Parliament of Australia in 1992 to promote the rights of people with disabillities in certain areas such as housing, education and provision of goods and services. ... The Disability Discrimination Act is a UK parliamentary act of 1995, which makes it unlawful to discriminate against people in respect of their disabilities in relation to employment, the provision of goods and services, education and transport. ... The Ontarians with Disabilities Act is the short title of the Ontario Governments Bill 125 - An Act to improve the identification, removal and prevention of barriers faced by persons with disabilities and to make related amendments to other Acts. The Act received Royal Assent on Dec. ...

Transportation

In transportation, accessibility refers to the ease of reaching destinations. People who are in places that are highly accessible can reach many other activities or destinations quickly, people in inaccessible places can reach many fewer places in the same amount of time.


A measure that is often used is to measure accessibility in a traffic analysis zone i is: A traffic analysis zone is the unit of geography most commonly used in conventional transportation planning models. ...


 Accessibility_i = sum_j {Opportunities_j } times fleft( {C_{ij} } right) where:

  • i = index of origin zones
  • j = index of destination zones
  • fleft( {C_{ij} } right) = function of generalized travel cost (so that nearer or less expensive places are weighted more than farther or more expensive places).

For a non-motorized mode of transport, such as walking or cycling, the generalized travel cost may include additional factors such as safety or gradient. Mode of transport is a general term for the different kinds of transportation of people or cargo: Car Truck Ship Aircraft ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Police officer on a bicycle Cycling is a means of transport, a form of recreation, and a sport. ... Warning signs, such as this one, can improve safety awareness. ... For other uses, see Gradient (disambiguation). ...


Automobile accessibility also refers to ease of use by disabled people.


Housing

Most existing and new housing, even in the wealthiest nations, lack basic accessibility features unless the designated, immediate occupant of a home currently has a disability. However, there are some initiatives to change typical residential practices so that new homes incorporate basic access features such as zero-step entries and door widths adequate for wheelchairs to pass through.


Great Britain applies the most widespread application of home access to date. In 1999, Parliament passed Section M, an amendment to residential building regulations requiring basic access in all new homes. ("Doors to Be Swept Away in New Rules for Builders", Rachel Kelley, The Times, December 5, 1997.) In the United States, the 1988 Amendments to the Fair Housing Act added people with disabilities, as well as familial status, to the classes already protected by law from discrimination (race, color, sex, religion and country of origin). Among the protection for people with disabilities in the 1988 Amendments are seven construction requirements for all multifamily buildings of more than four units first occupied after March 13, 1991. These seven requirements are as follows: The Times is a national newspaper published daily in the United Kingdom since 1788. ... December 5 is the 339th day (340th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the band, see 1997 (band). ... http://www. ... is the 72nd day of the year (73rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ...

  1. An accessible building entrance on an accessible route.
  2. Accessible common and public use areas.
  3. Doors usable by a person in a wheelchair.
  4. Accessible route into and through the dwelling unit.
  5. Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and other environmental controls in accessible locations.
  6. Reinforced walls in bathrooms for later installation of grab bars.
  7. Usable kitchens and bathrooms.

(From Fair Housing First, a website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).


In spite of these advancements, the housing types where most people in the United States reside --single-family homes--are not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, or any other federal law with the exception of the small percentage of publicly-funded homes impacted by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. As a result, the great majority of new single-family homes replicate the barriers in existing homes. The 1973 Rehabilitation Act was an American piece of legislation that guaranteed certain rights to people with disabilities. ...


The broad concept of Universal Design is relevant to housing, as it is to all aspects of the built environment. Furthermore, a Visitability movement begun by grass roots disability advocates in the 1980s focuses specifically on changing construction practices in new housing. This movement, a network of interested people working in their locales, works on educating, passing laws, and spurring voluntary home access initiatives with the intention that basic access become a routine part of new home construction. // Visitability is an international movement to change home construction practices so that virtually all new homes--whether or not designated for residents who currently have mobility impairments--offer a few specific accessibility features. ...


Telecommunications and information technology access

Another dimension of accessibility is the ability to access information and services by minimizing the barriers of distance and cost as well as the usability of the interface. In many countries this has led to initiatives, laws and regulations that aim toward providing universal access to the internet and to phone systems at reasonable cost to citizens.


Currently there are a few major movements to coordinate a set of guidelines for accessibility for the web. The first and most well known is The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), which is part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This organization developed the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0...which explain how to make Web content accessible to people with disabilities. Web "content" generally refers to the information in a Web page or Web application, including text, images, forms, sounds, and such. (More specific definitions are available in the WCAG documents.)[1] The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is an effort to improve the accessibility of the World Wide Web (WWW or Web), especially, but not only, for people with disabilities. ... The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is a consortium that produces standards—recommendations, as they call them—for the World Wide Web. ... Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are part of a series of Web accessibility guidelines published by the W3Cs Web Accessibility Initiative. ...


The WCAG is separated into 3 levels of compliance, A, AA and AAA. Each level requires a stricter set of conformance guidelines, such as different versions of HTML (Transitional vs Strict) and other techniques that need to be incorporated into your code before accomplishing validation. Online tools such as the Watchfire WebXACT engine will allow users to submit their website and automatically run it through the WCAG guidelines and produce a report, stating whether or not they conform to each level of compliance. Adobe Dreamweaver also offers plugins which allow web developers to test these guidelines on their work from within the program. HTML, short for Hypertext Markup Language, is the predominant markup language for the creation of web pages. ... This article is about the web development program. ...


Another source of web accessibility guidance comes from the US government. Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act is a comprehensive set of rules designed to help web designers make their sites accessible. They've also developed a website where you can take online training course for free to learn about these rules. 508 Universe ...


In general, for a website to comply with accessibility standards, they should at least have the following:

  • (X)HTML Validation from the W3C for the pages content
  • CSS Validation from the W3C for the pages layout
  • At least WAI-AA (preferably AAA) compliance with the WAI's WCAG
  • Compliance with all guidelines from Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act
  • Access keys built into the HTML
  • Semantic Web Markup
  • A high contrast version of the site for individuals with low vision
  • Alternative media for any multimedia used on the site (video, flash, audio, etc)

Another good idea is for websites to include a web accessibility statement on the site. This page details the accessible status of the page, lists access keys and can display which validations have been achieved for the site as well as include their pledge for accessibility. Example of a accessibility statement An access key allows a computer user to immediately jump to a specific part of a web page via the keyboard. ... In general, semantics (from the Greek semantikos, or significant meaning, derived from sema, sign) is the study of meaning, in some sense of that term. ...

1 The Web Accessibility Initiative's Introduction to the WCAG link

Accessibility plannings

In the United Kingdom, the Department for Transport have mandated that each local authority produce an Accessibility Plan that is incorporated in their Local Transport Plan. An Accessibility Plan sets out how each local authority plans to improve access to employment, learning, health care, food shops and other services of local importance, particularly for disadvantaged groups and areas. Accessibility targets are defined in the accessibility plans, these are often the distance or time to access services by different modes of transport including walking, cycling and public transport. In the United Kingdom, the Department for Transport is the government department responsible for the transport network. ... Local governments are administrative offices of an area smaller than a state. ... Local Transport Plans (LTPs) are an important part of Transportation Planning within the United Kingdom. ...


See also

Assistive Technology (AT) is a generic term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices and the process used in selecting, locating, and using them. ... In human-computer interaction, computer accessibility refers to the usability of a computer system by people with disabilities or age-related limitations. ... Dildonics (or human factors) is the application of scientific information concerning humans to the design of objects, systems and environment for human use (definition adopted by the International Dildonics Association in 2007). ... The field of game accessibility deals with the accessibility of electronic games (computer games, console games, etc. ... Music cognition is an interdisciplinary field involving such disparate areas as cognitive science, music theory, psychology, musicology, neuroscience, computer science, philosophy, psychoacoustics, etc. ... Music cognition is an interdisciplinary field involving such disparate areas as cognitive science, music theory, psychology, musicology, neuroscience, computer science, philosophy, psychoacoustics, etc. ... PTAL stands for Public Transport Accessibility Level. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... This article lacks information on the importance of the subject matter. ... Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, was enacted by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Pub. ... Universal design, which is related to inclusive design and design for all, is an approach to the design of products, services and environments to be usable by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation. ... // Visitability is an international movement to change home construction practices so that virtually all new homes--whether or not designated for residents who currently have mobility impairments--offer a few specific accessibility features. ... Web accessibility refers to the practice of making Web pages accessible to people using a wide range of user agent software and devices, not just standard Web browsers. ...

References

External links

Look up Accessibility in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ...

Technology accessibility


  Results from FactBites:
 
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (9276 words)
The power of text equivalents lies in their capacity to be rendered in ways that are accessible to people from various disability groups using a variety of technologies.
Accessibility issues identified early are easier to correct and avoid.
Content is accessible when it may be used by someone with a disability.
IRS.gov Accessibility (130 words)
Information on the Web needs to be accessible to those with functional impairments in accordance with 508 requirements.
Accessibility refers to ensuring that access to information is available to the widest possible audience.
The accessibility features that have been put in place thus far are just the beginning.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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