WAAVMaker Community Voices: The ADA Anniversary & What Accessibility Means to Me
Accessibility for me means being able to exist in the world like everyone else does.
It’s being able to walk into a building without giving it a second thought because there aren’t any curbs or steps. It’s being able to live in a multi-floor apartment building or stay in a hotel because there are elevators.
Accessibility is being able to travel anywhere I want and not having to worry about which sites I’m going to be able to see and which ones I won’t.
Accessibility is knowing that at work, I’ll be able to access my office no matter what floor it’s on because if there’s stairs, there will be an elevator.
Do all of these things apply right now, no matter where I go? Unfortunately, no. Much of the US and the world is still very inaccessible for people with disabilities. But what I do know is that because of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), overall accessibility is much broader than it used to be. I know that before the ADA, I could have been passed over for a job or paid less simply because I was born with a disability. I know that there would be zero accessible public transportation. I know that if I went to look for an apartment, landlords could legally choose not to rent to me because of my disability.
Accessibility for me means not just being able to exist in the world like everyone else does, it’s being able to experience life just like everyone able-bodied does.
by Jackie Witt
A year ago