Think quickly. What does the word, accessibility, mean to you? Don’t look it up or google it. Just define it in your head. There’s no right or wrong answer here.
Accessibility is a wonderful word that is spreading like wildfire all over the world as people start exercising their right to access. But do we really know what the word accessibility means?
I am not an expert on the asinine nature of the English language. That is why I look up the definition every time I’m curious about a word. To my surprise, it is not exactly defined as I thought it would be.
Accessibility as a Related Form
When I looked up the definition of the word in some of the most popular online dictionary sites, their results defaulted to the word, accessible. For whatever reason these dictionaries defaulted to accessible, it was not the definition I wanted.
As it turned out, only the Oxford English Dictionary had an actual entry for accessibility.
The quality of being able to be reached or entered.
- The quality of being easy to obtain or use.
- The quality of being easily understood or appreciated.
- The quality of being easily reached, entered, or used by people who have a disability.
Upon closer examination, these results did state that accessibility is a related form of accessible. In addition, these dictionaries all agree that accessibility is a noun.
To be clear, all the dictionaries agree that accessible is an adjective. It also appears that it is a combination of a noun, ability, and an adjective, accessible.
Perhaps it is such a new word that is still being defined as a noun?
That’s when I started to broaden my scope to see how the word is defined by other sources including people, businesses, and organizations.
Five Thoughts on Accessibility
Accessibility as a human right.
As a human right, it is the most popular use of the word.
You could also think of accessibility as treating everyone the same, and giving them the same opportunities, no matter what their ability or circumstances.
While the word is often tied to people with disabilities, there is no doubt that everyone benefits from the same right to accessibility.
Accessibility as a characteristic.
It was not until I came across this quote which struck me as a characterstic.
This is the new leadership: accessibility.
What made this stand out is that Jeff is framing this in a human context. While it is a challenge for anyone to be accessible to seven billion people on the planet, there is a difference between being accessible and inaccessible as a character trait.
Accessibility as a function.
One of my good friends crafted accessibility into a function everyone can use.
Accessibility allows us to tap into everyone’s potential.
As a Global Inclusion Strategist, Debra networks with businesses and government organizations all over the world to examine ways to become more inclusive. As a result of networking, she has compiled a collection of insights from ….
Accessibility as a principle.
I have to admit this statement is my favorite.
Accessibility is about giving equal access to everyone.
It goes back to the old say, it is better to give than receive.
There are some situations where equal access is not possible in one form, such as a photo, it is still possible provide equal access in the form of image descriptions. I admit this is an area that constantly challenges me to search for solutions.
Accessibility as a universal solution.
For the longest time, accessibility was a challenge in the real world. Then the Internet came along.
The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.
The Internet has become the new racetrack. This has created a lot of debate as to the concept of “universality” which oddly enough is in the dictionaries where accessibility is not.
As a result, those who have created inaccessible solutions are crumbling in the wave of accessibility.
The actual definition of accessibility.
These thoughts appears to share one thing in common.
Accessibility is about your ability to access anything you want in this life.
As a blogger, we are supposed to craft a definition of words we use in order to give you a frame of reference to fit your definition with mine. After doing all this research, I am no closer to an answer.
I do admit that my answer is part of the train of thought as a basic human right. Beyond that, the train is still chugging its’ way along down the track. It is time for this train of thought to arrive at your station.
If you would like to enjoy reading the featured image description, you can navigate to Giving Flowers Between Bars.
In your own words, leave a comment below and tell the world how you would define accessibility?