Making the World More Accessible: A Literature Review
Presented by Global Solution Networks
“Physical inaccessibility is a social problem created by social and environmental barriers that limit people with impairments.”
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: “Recognizing the importance of accessibility to the physical, social, economic and cultural environment, to health and education and to information and communication, in enabling persons with disabilities to fully enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms”…
Difficulties in accessing housing, public spaces, transport and travel have significant economic and social impacts for people with disabilities and society as a whole.
There are 1.3 billion people worldwide living with some form of disability, and the number is growing.
An estimated 3.8 million (13.7%) adult Canadians reported in 2012 as being limited in their daily activities due to a disability.
65 million people around the world have mobility limitations.
90% of us will face a disability at some point in our lives… if we live long enough.
The Economics of Access
The 1.3 billion people with disabilities control $8 trillion in annual disposable income.
Travel undertaken by persons with disabilities generates US $17.3 billion in annual spending.
In the UK, people with disabilities contribute £80 billion to the economy per year, and may account for 20% of a business’ customer base.
People with impairments tend to be accompanied by partners (50%), children (20%) or companions (20-25%), which increases the number of visitors and the total revenue.
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Air Carrier Access Act
- The Equality Act
- Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
Accessible Public Spaces
- barrier-free entrances.
- passenger loading zones.
- parking lots with barrier-free parking.
- Living space that is comfortable and functional.
- Ramps or elevators where steps are present.
- Automatic doors that allow people with disabilities to pass through comfortably.
- Sidewalks and pathways without any obstructions.
- Curb cuts between sidewalks and streets.
- Public bathrooms that have large doors and grab bars near the toilet.
- Counter-tops and payment machines at a level they can reach.
- Transportation that accommodates them and their vehicles.
Physical Access Limitation
Americans with serious and long-term disabilities who rely on federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for their basic needs face serious challenges.
In 2014, the average annual income of a single individual on SSI payments was $8,995, about 23% below the federal poverty level for the year. An average person receiving SSI needed to pay 104% of income in order to rent a modest one-bedroom unit. In 162 housing market areas across 33 states, one-bedroom rents exceeded 100% of monthly SSI. Rents for modest rental units in 15 of these areas exceeded 150% of SSI.
Implications for GSN Providers
Access creates economic benefits. A more inclusive world benefits everyone. Access problems are global and pervasive. Access problems are relentless. Access solutions need to be universally available. Advocacy voices need to be heard globally. Broader beneficial impact can accelerate solutions. Working together can provide resources for more complex solutions.
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