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Disability Justice

Library Display, October 2021

WEEK 2: Accommodation versus accessibility

Week 2. Our topic this week is Accommodation versus Accessibility. While accommodations allow for disabled people to have access to otherwise inaccessible spaces, Universal Design and accessibility benefits everyone and mitigate the need for reactive accommodations.

3 Differences between Accessibility and Accommodations (Source

  1. Accommodations are reactive, Accessibility is proactive 
  2. Accommodations require Disabled people to self-disclose  
  3. Accommodation benefits the person receiving them, but accessibility benefits all 

The idea of Universal Design and accessibility relates to the Social Model of Disability. The social model of disability focuses on how society does or does not allow an impairment to disable the person with the impairment; the problem is in the environment, not the individual (Source). 

In a classroom setting, an example of an accommodation may be closed captioning on Canvas videos. But if those videos were proactively made accessible with captioning, all students in the class would benefit from the accessibility, whether or not there was a disabled student in the class.  

Accessible classrooms, environments, and activities benefit all students, save time and money, and save disabled students from doing extra labor to procure accommodations.  


Further Resources: