Pertains to building elements, heights and clearances implemented to address the specific needs of disabled people.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal…”
– Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
In daily life, as we maneuver through society, nothing is more important yet taken for granted more often than access. For millions of people with disabilities, the access that most of us take for granted is difficult, impossible, or achievable only with the intervention of a third party. We live in what is considered an independent society, yet independent access to programs, facilities, and employment is not easily achievable by many. Physical access is historically the arbiter of success and the source of opportunity in education, employment, and social freedom. Thus, accessibility is a civil rights issue for many people with disabilities and for our society.
For Americans with disabilities, access means simply being able to use, enjoy, and participate in the many aspects of society, including work, commerce, and leisure activities. While removing architectural barriers may allow people with disabilities to circulate within and around a facility, other factors, such as transportation, affect their ability to fully participate in activities. Designers and other suppliers of services and goods need to provide equal access for all without undermining the needs of people with disabilities.