Yesterday, I wrote a post about the difference between the paradigms of accommodation of disabilities and accessibility for disabilities. My argument was essentially this: accommodation is not accessibility, and it is not nearly as good.
“Accommodation” shifts the burden to the person with disabilities. Accommodation requires a person with a disability to interact with a gatekeeper, to ask for something extra, and often to prove that she deserves accommodation in the first place—that she is “disabled enough.”
Furthermore, many disabilities, both physical, psychiatric, and mental, are invisible. And some people with disabilities are really good at passing as able-bodied. We do so for our own reasons—reasons we don’t need to, and shouldn’t have to, explain to anyone.
But the accommodations model requires us to disclose our disabilities, it requires us to explain, to give up secrets we might not want to share. The accommodations model depends on invasions of privacy to work.
Accessibility, alternatively, means that a space is always, 100% of the time, welcoming to people with disabilities. Accessibility means that “accommodations” are integrated into a space and are not particularized to an individual—but rather created for our society as a whole. We, as a society, are people with disabilities. Therefore we, as a society, build spaces and procedures for people with disabilities.
It really is that simple.