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National Youth Leadership Network and KASA

Accessibility and Accommodations: Making opportunity accessible to all

“Disability is a natural part of the human experience…”— U.S. Developmental Disabilities Act & the Bill of Rights Act

Why We Chose to Write This
The disability community includes many different people. People with disabilities are in all age groups, all genders, all cultures, all religions, and from all financial backgrounds. People can be born with a disability or they can get a disability later in life, but people in this community have one thing in common: we often face barriers when trying to be involved in activities such as education, employment, health care, social events, and more. This document explains ways to make sure people with disabilities can participate in different activities.

Why Accommodations and Accessibility Are Needed
Often, a person will see a sign or a flyer saying: “All are welcome.” But the question is: “Will everyone be able to participate?” Our society is proud of saying that everyone can do everything. It’s known as the “American Dream.” However, this thought of a community that is all-inclusive (where everyone can participate in activities, have access to things, and be equally respected) is not happening yet in our country. People need accommodations and support to be independent.

We must educate ourselves and others about accommodations and accessibility. This is the main way to let people know that they are welcome to participate. These accommodations will be helpful for everyone, not only for those with disabilities. For example, many non-disabled people use automatic doors and ramps to enter a building. Also, clear and summarized documents are easier to read rather than pages and pages of difficult terminology. These are examples of accessibility accommodations that can be helpful for everyone.

General Accommodations and Ideas for Presentations and Events

The following accommodations can be used as a guide or a checklist to make our society respectful and inclusive for everyone.

General Ways to be Accessible for Different Kinds of Disabilities
Ask people what they need or announce that accommodations can be provided. This makes a presentation or an event accessible to everyone. Here are some examples of accommodations that people might need. There may be other kinds of accommodations requested such as avoiding perfumes, scented soaps, or florescent lighting. Accommodation requests may be different for different people.

 

This document was co-written by the National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN)and Kids As Self Advocates (KASA).

 

National Youth Leadership Network

For more information:
National Youth Leadership Network www.nyln.org
1-866-480-6565
Portland State University
RRI PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207-0751
NYLN is supported by Portland State University.

The National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN) is a voice for young leaders with disabilities. We live across the United States and its territories. This is a place where young leaders come together to support (help) other youth with disabilities. We believe youth can do a lot! NYLN tries to help youth at national, state, and local levels. We link them to opportunities for education, employment, and independence. NYLN also talks about things important to youth with disabilities, such as policies (laws) affecting our lives.

Kids As Self Advocates

For more information:
Kids As Self Advocates www.fvkasa.org
1-773-338-5541
2340 Alamo SE, Ste 102
Albuquerque, NM 87106
KASA is a project of Family Voices, Inc. - www.familyvoices.org.

Kids As Self Advocates (KASA) is a project created by youth with disabilities for youth. Young people who work with KASA are from all over the United States. KASA knows youth can make choices and advocate for themselves if they have the information and support they need. KASA believes young people with disabilities will have control over their own lives and futures. We will help make this happen by teaching youth about their rights, giving peer support and training, and changing the systems that affect our lives to include us.

 

NYLN and KASA decided to co-write this document because:

 

© 2006 NYLN and KASA