To me, accessibility means being inclusive to all people. These are 4 ways I think the world could be more accessible:
1. Technology: Through trial and error, I have noticed that technology is not fully accessible to the blind. Some apps on the iPhone are not compatible with VoiceOver, an accessibility setting that reads the screen out loud to users. It is also very difficult for a blind person to shop online because screen readers do not always describe pictures. Due to the widespread use of technology, app developers can improve their accessibility by evaluating which aspects work with VoiceOver, and reconfiguring those that don’t. Shopping online could be more accessible by creating software that describes pictures on the computer screen.
2. Concerts: The Musical Autist offers programs that are accessible to people of all abilities. We provide sensory accommodations for our Sensory Friendly Concerts and allow individuals to move around and vocalize when needed, to keep themselves regulated. Concert venues could be more accessible by allowing individuals to move around and providing sensory accommodations such as noise reduction headphones, fidgets, and a sensory quiet room when the individual needs a break. As stated at all of our Sensory Friendly Concerts, autistic vocalization is to be accepted and respected. We also provide the same accommodations at our Empowerment Jam Sessions and Troupe.
3. Infrastructure: Take a look at the buildings that are supposed to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Do all of these buildings allow service dogs and wheelchair ramps? Also, ask yourself whether buildings have wide enough doorways for people in wheelchairs to get through. All public buildings, historic or new, should ensure that they have braille signs available for all rooms, as well as any other accommodations listed in the Americans with Disabilities Act (and more).
4. Movie Theaters: Whenever I went to the movies during my time at Maryland School for the Blind, accessible venues were not available due to the lack of audio descriptions. Often times, movie theaters have very loud speakers and surround sound throughout the entire building, failing to provide accessibility for people on the autism spectrum. Individuals are not permitted to move around or express autistic vocalizations, and theaters lack a sensory quiet room when individuals may need it.
These are just a few ways I think the world could be more accessible to people of all abilities. I truly believe that inclusion for all people is important. So ask yourself this question: What are some ways that I can make my world or my child’s world more accessible? If you have any suggestions, feel free to contact me through The Musical Autist website!