Looking back upon many of my writing this semester: both in this journal and in my pop culture blog, one thing really strikes me: how unaware I was before this course of the necessary accommodations that businesses and organizations must meet to effectively serve individuals with disabilities and the number of individuals with disabilities.
Not only was I uninformed about these accommodations and this population, I was just plain naive. Now, having broadened my perspective, I notice when access areas don’t have automatic doors or ramps. I notice the young woman struggling to use a cane on an unpaved parking lot. I look for the computer access terminal where a wheelchair could comfortably fit. I notice the sign that has no imagery for the illiterate.
I now realize just how unaware of these important accommodations I was. I also know that it is not enough to simply notice, I must vocalize my observations in an attempt to create change. It’s not enough for the able-bodied individual to rely upon disabled individuals to voice their disappointment when access is not provided. The able-bodied must join with them in voice and vocalize these discrepancies. It’s not only the right thing to do; it’s our responsibility as members of the greater library and information science community.