Increasing Accessibility Should Always Be A Top Priority
Start writing a post
Student Life

Increasing Accessibility Should Always Be A Top Priority, No Matter What

"As a society, we should strive to increase accessibility beyond ADA requirements."

Increasing Accessibility Should Always Be A Top Priority, No Matter What
Unsplash by Yomex Owo

Often, people with disabilities face issues of accessibility in life, whether be impaired vision or hearing, an intellectual disability or physical disability. Some solutions to disability barriers are more complex than others, but sometimes all it takes is being conscious of the needs of others. We are capable of and should all be willing to make necessary changes to allow individuals to enjoy more aspects of life.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were nearly 40 million Americans with a disability in America in 2015, which represents 12.6 % of the civilian non-institutionalized population. Since people with disabilities are a minority in our country, their daily struggles often go unnoticed by others, and they may even struggle to voice their concerns depending on their disability.

It wasn't until 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became a law which astonishes me considering people have had disabilities forever and it seems legislation finally decided to take legal action less than 30 years ago.

According to the ADA National Network site, "The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else."

It is important to not just think of accessibility as making an area fit for the use of someone in a wheelchair. Although this is still important to consider, we must also consider how individuals who are deaf can interpret messages, how people who are blind or visually impaired can read menus or medical instructions in small print on medicine labels.

As a society, we should strive to increase accessibility beyond ADA requirements. Just because a building may not be required to be entirely ADA compliant does not mean we should not make accommodations.

Some individuals believe that requiring businesses to meet ADA requirements is an unfair responsibility, but I believe it not only helps individuals with disabilities but also allows businesses to serve a more diverse population of customers.

People with disabilities face several different types of barriers. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) site, the most common barriers are attitudinal, communication, physical, policy, programmatic, social, and transportation. I think we often think of physical barriers, but we should also consider our mindset about people with individuals. People without disabilities are sometimes quick to stereotype and/or assume that because someone has a disability their quality of life is poor. There is also a common belief that people with disabilities are less capable of doing things.

An example of how Longwood University could improve accessibility is by adding a van accessible parking space to the Longwood University Bookstore parking lot. The ADA requirement is to have two accessible parking spaces when the lot has more than 25 total parking spaces. The bookstore's lot has a total of 36 parking spaces and only one accessible parking space which is not van accessible, meaning the parking space has an access aisle for an individual in a wheelchair to exit the vehicle.

Another way Farmville could become more accessible is by adding more accessible doors to entrances of businesses. More places should consider having power doors with sensors and ensure that their doorways are at least 32 inches in width to allow for easier access to individuals in wheelchairs.

More residential buildings should have elevators so individuals using wheelchairs can either live in these locations or visit friends and family in their homes. A lot of Walk2Campus properties are not very accessible to students with disabilities. The Walk2Campus apartments above the bookstore only have stairs, and there is an elevator in the bookstore that does not go up to the apartments.

Restaurants could make accommodations by simply having a menu with enlarged print or braille for people who are visually impaired. When a large event is taking place like a church service or academic ceremony, a sign language interpreter should be hired for those who are deaf.

By being conscious of disability barriers and following policies that are designed to eliminate these barriers, society can become more accessible to all individuals.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

10 Holiday Drinks to Spice Up this December's Movie Binge

After all, isn't it the season of drinking...?

10 Holiday Drinks to Spice Up this December's Movie Binge

Thanksgiving has officially ended which means we are in preparation for the final holidays of the year. December is a busy month, filled with shopping and sales, wrapping gifts, planning family gathering and parties, cooking and baking, holiday movies, and of course, lots of drinking. I know that I will be spending a lot of December watching the ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas,

Keep Reading... Show less

Planning Another Christmas Party

Don't just plan another plain party but get creative to have everyone wanting to come back next year!

Getty Famous

You know it's Christmas when the radio stations change to all of your favorite holiday tunes, the air is still, and stores have the best sales. With all my favorite things from Christmas happening my least favorite probably has to be when I have to go to another same old boring Christmas party that I get invited to every year. Here are some Christmas party ideas so that you won't have another sad Christmas party.

Keep Reading... Show less

High School Soccer is Wildly Important

For Young Players Who Want to Succeed at The Next Level

High School Soccer is Wildly Important

Whose choice is it? The parent? The player? There are a number of reasons that a kid may sit out of high school soccer, and to be completely honest; It is a huge mistake. High school soccer is the final piece in the puzzle that takes a player from above average or elite, to college ready by the end of their senior year. Every year thousands of talented athletes don't play for their high schools. Why though?

Keep Reading... Show less

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

December is around the corner, are you ready?

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

As they tend to say, its the most wonderful time of the year! People have begun to compile their Christmas to-do lists in anticipation for the season of sugarplums and gingerbread.

The history of the Christmas to-do lists goes back hundreds of years, almost as old as the holiday itself, however, people tend to fall out of this habit as they get older. This is unfortunate, as the theme of Christmas tradition can add bundles of the spirit of joy to your families.

Keep Reading... Show less

Fall Weather Must-Haves

Put away the swim suits and your favorite high-waisted shorts!


The transitional months of fall can cause some fashion headaches as you try to figure out what clothing to keep in your closet. With limited amount of college living space and the ever-unpredictable Nebraska weather, sometimes it’s difficult to know what should be taking up that precious closet space as you transition into winter. As you pack away those tanks and shorts for the chilly months ahead, get your closet ready with a few Fall must-haves. 

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments