Easterseals is leading the way to full equity, inclusion and access through life-changing disability and community services. For more than 100 years, we have worked tirelessly with our partners to enhance quality of life and expand local access to healthcare, education and employment opportunities. Our public education, policy and advocacy initiatives positively shape perceptions and address the urgent and evolving needs of the one in four Americans with disabilities today. Together, we’re empowering people with disabilities, families and communities to be full and equal participants in society.

Building a More Accessible World

What is accessibility?

Accessibility can be defined as whether someone with a disability can access, experience, or interact with something. This can apply to the following:

  • Employment
  • Public spaces
  • Transportation
  • Healthcare
  • Technology
  • Housing
  • Education

The items listed above are vital resources or activities we should have in our lives which is why accessibility is key to ensuring inclusion for people with disabilities.

Accessibility in public spaces, including the workplace and schools, is required by law with the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. However, there are still many ways society falls short in ensuring our communities can be accessed by people with disabilities. It's on all of us to consider and advocate for full accessibility.

If you don't have a disability, you may not think twice about the curb cuts you cross on your way to work, closed captions that appear on your favorite TV shows, or signs in braille.But for people with disabilities and their families, these are accessibility features that are vital for full inclusion in society.

Everyone can contribute to change. You can help remove barriers by:

  • Advocating a barrier-free environment
  • Speaking up when negative words or phrases are used about disability
  • Writing producers and editors a note of support when they portray someone with a disability as a "regular person" in the media
  • Accepting people with disabilities as individuals capable of the same needs and feelings as yourself, and hiring qualified disabled persons whenever possible
  • Understanding the need for accessible parking and leaving it for those who need it
  • Encouraging participation of people with disabilities in community activities by using accessible meeting and event sites
  • If you have a question about access, always ask it and don’t assume you already know the answer.

What is web accessibility?

Web accessibility assures that people with disabilities can access websites. With so much information and socialization happening online, it is crucial that we ensure everyone can access content on the internet.

Web accessibility includes captions for videos, descriptions of images, high contrast and resizing for text, screen-reader friendly websites, and more.

While Title II of the ADA requires that all state and federal websites must be accessible to people with disabilities, there is still a long way to go until the internet is barrier free.

To learn more about web accessibility, visit the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for guidelines for web designers and developers.

What are the ADA accessibility guidelines?

There are hundreds of guidelines in the ADA for accessibility compliance. These guidelines pertain to building entrances, ramp inclines, elevators, bathroom access, parking spaces, alarms, table heights, and more. These rules ensure that people with disabilities have access to their community and gives them a legal recourse if they encounter unnecessary barriers. You can visit the official ADA guidelines website to learn more.

How is Easterseals making the world more accessible & inclusive?

Easterseals Southern California's strength is in our diversity and inclusive culture. Our community-based services and supports are directly responding to the needs of their communities to break down barriers in employment, community access, housing, transportation, technology and more.

Every day, we strive to uphold our values of respect and inclusion through programs and services tailored to meet the needs of individuals. As part of our work toward our goal of making Southern California the most inclusive place for people with disabilities by 2030.