|Title of host publication||International Encyclopedia of Human Geography|
|Publication status||Published - 28 Nov 2019|
Accessibility is the ability to move into and through an environment to reach places and use services. For people with mobility, sensory and cognitive impairments, and those on the autism spectrum, there can be significant physical, attitudinal, and discriminatory barriers to access. Geographical studies have evidenced inaccessibility in the realms of urban and rural environments, transport systems, housing, health and social care, and technology. Geographers have also contributed significantly to conceptualizing accessibility in relation to disability, engaging with the social model of disability which emphasizes the political and structural production of inaccessibility. More recently, geographers working on disability have adopted relational approaches, which focus on the embodiment, experiences, emotions, and social relations of people with disabilities, and in particular consider how bodies, emotions, and relations help to generate accessible and inaccessible spaces. Despite improvements made to accessibility in urban environments and institutions, many remain replete with barriers to people with disabilities. Universal design and shared spaces offer some potential for enhanced accessibility, but can still result in exclusion. Involving people with disabilities in the design and planning of environments, and in doing so recognizing their rights and role in societies, is crucial to move towards improved accessibility for all.
- Autism Spectrum
- Mobility impairment
- Sensory impairment
- Universal design