There are many ways to make our community more inclusive and accessible. Unfortunately, accessibility is often an afterthought in the engineering, design, and building process of community environments. This results in the exclusion of people with disabilities in life activities that non-disabled people take for granted. The hope with this assignment is to open your eyes to the ways that our community can be accessible and inaccessible for people with disabilities, and the ways that we can be proactive in ensuring that accessibility features are present within our communities. (Remember: Accessibility is not only for those with visible disabilities but also for invisible disabilities such as heart conditions, anxiety disorders, etc.)
You will explore the concept of universal design and the accessibility features of
The Ed Roberts Campus at UC Berkeley via two short videos:
- Ed Roberts Campus: Building Community https://youtu.be/7THtXFm_954
- The Ed Roberts Campus https://youtu.be/4Vh51HYJA-0
- Microsoft Word format ONLY
- 3-5 pages of question/answer text, and photos
- Responses must be in short essay/paragraph, question/answer format (answers underneath respective points/questions)
- 1” margins
- 12-point font
For this assignment, you will respond to all of the following points or questions on the topic of accessibility at The Ed Roberts Campus at UC Berkeley and the community at large:
- What does universal design mean? Find at least 2 online definitions and put those definitions into your own words and write your definition here. (2 pts)
- Who was Ed Roberts and what did he believe to be important? (2 pts)
- Is The Ed Roberts Campus equally accessible to all groups of people? If so, which groups of people is it accessible to? And if not, which group(s) of people with disabilities is it not accessible to? Explain why you have come to this conclusion. (2 pts)
- What are some universal design features/qualities at The Ed Roberts Campus that make it accessible? (2 pt)
- There are many barriers on a day-to-day basis that make accessibility a challenge for people with disabilities. What barriers exist in the community at large that make accessibility more challenging? Think of barriers you have noticed in your own community. You may also take a look at historical footage via this video link to help refresh your memory: https://youtu.be/KRJM4hqj_JQ. Are the features/qualities and barriers you recognize man-made in the current moment? Or are they the result of the initial design? Explain. (2 pts)
- Add a photo of and a paragraph describing a real place that has poor accessibility features. The photo may be acquired in person or on the internet. However, you must provide a paragraph explaining why you have concluded that this place is not fully accessible. What would you change to make it accessible to more people? (2 pts)
- Add a photo of and a paragraph describing a real place that has excellent accessibility features. The photo may be acquired in person or on the internet. However, you must include a paragraph explaining why you believe that this place is fully accessible. Be sure to do ample research to ensure that this place is actually designed for full accessibility.
- Throughout your paper, use of person-first language is required (unless you are a person with a disability who prefers identity-first language and informs us of your preference within your paper). Respectful language is required. Inspiration porn is unacceptable. Proper disability-related language etiquette is required (1 pt)
The following considerations will benefit your evaluation and will contribute to a higher grade on this assignment. Things to consider as you answer the above questions:
- Can a person who uses a wheelchair access all of the same areas that a nondisabled individual can access?
- Are accessible alternatives clearly and visibly marked?
- Are elevators and lifts in working order wherever there are stairs?
- Are ramps located and angled in such a way that it is not overly burdensome for someone who uses a wheelchair to maneuver to them and on them?
- Are the accessible alternatives comparable in distance such that the person using a wheelchair does not need to go far out of their way to arrive at the destination?
- Are signs readable in Braille for people who are blind?
- Are audio cues available for people who are blind (such as crosswalks)?
- Are sign language interpretation and/or closed or open captioning available for any audio or video features?
- Are there enough accessible parking spots and are they actually accessible? If they are not accessible, is it because someone is parked in them illegally? Has someone put shopping carts or scooters or other obstacles in the spots? Or are they designed poorly, making them inaccessible?
- Are there enough accessible walkways, curb cuts, and other accessibility features? If they are not accessible, is it because someone has blocked them/created barriers? Or is it due to poor design?
- Do accessibility features that benefit people with disabilities also benefit those who do not have disabilities? If so, how?
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