Access is for everyone

Access is for everyone, inclusive of a wide range of needs. Access does not limit itself to disability, instead it centers the needs of the most marginalized. The most marginalized are often, but not always, disabled people.

Some access needs* include:

  • Communication – written, spoken; visual and auditory; multiple languages; non-verbal; plain language; code-switching
  • Mental / Emotional – content notes, breaks, safer spaces, peer support, addiction support
  • Cognitive – pacing, remembering, understanding, masking
  • Education – vocabulary, “you don’t know what you don’t know,” skill sets, informal education vs academia
  • Physical – mobility, dexterity, size, transportation
  • Sensory – noise, lights, scents, chemicals, food and beverages
  • Time – scheduling, time zones, travel time, processing time
  • Care – personal, elder, child, breastfeeding, support animals
  • Financial – poverty, low minimum wage, low disability benefits, marriage penalty, unpaid or poorly paid labor
  • Technological – high speed internet, adaptive and assistive devices
  • Social – social norms, moral codes, etiquette, enculturation, social capital

*”Access needs” can be defined as what is required for a person or people to have their needs — perhaps in a class, at an event, on transport, etc. — fulfilled in a way that provides the same access as others, while using an approach different from what is considered to be standard.