Creating and maintaining inclusive and accessible spaces should be top of mind for city planners, architects, engineers, designers, and business owners. What are some considerations or features that organizations should prioritize when designing universal spaces, facilities, and services?
Resources and Services
Mobility devices available for rent (wheelchairs, motorized scooters, strollers, etc.)
Policies that allow for service animals
Sensory-specific resources, such as noise canceling headphones, fidget tools
Agents / representatives trained to support individuals with visual, hearing, or mobility needs
Translators (ASL, other languages)
TTY / TDD devices
Assistive listening devices
Audio descriptions / captioned events
Large print and braille options for documents
Brochures with streamlined information about venues / attractions
Accessible online resources and web design that can work with assistive devices and applications
Screen reader compatibility
Providing alternative text for images
Labeled form fields
Inclusive color contrast
Captions and transcripts for online media
Inclusive signage including braille
Accessible entryways (ramps)
Accessible routes and pathways
Elevators (commercial buildings) and/or Stairlifts (residential buildings)
Family restrooms that are equipped for wheelchair access
Restrooms with adult changing tables / stations that can accommodate adults as well as children
Lowered electrical outlets
Calming rooms that can be used by individuals who are overstimulated or need time away
Hotel / Airbnb / Rental Facility Specific
Accessible toilet with grab bars
Lowered door viewport
Accessible bathtubs with grab bars with benches / chairs
Television with subtitles / closed-captioned functionality
Audible emergency alarm for sight impaired guests
Wheelchair accessible registration desk
36” + wide doorways
Public transportation (buses, taxis, car rentals, etc.)
Functions to lower the vehicle for easier boarding
Ramps and lifts that can accommodate individuals with wheelchairs, walkers, or other mobility devices
Reduced / discounted fare prices
How to be an Inclusive Employer
New research from the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) reveals that remote work can be a great equalizer for equitable employment of individuals with disabilities and accessibility needs. Their 2022 research shows that “individuals aged 25-54 who identify as having a disability were “3.5% more likely to be employed in Q2 2022 than pre-pandemic." Particularly for individuals with mobility impairments, the option to work from home, and not have to worry about finding accessible transportation or worrying about the accommodations in their office building – such as automatic doors, restrooms, walkways, adjustable desks, etc. – can be a huge relief.
Covid-19 pushed many businesses to embrace remote work, and with productivity staying the same or increasing with remote work, keeping remote work an option is crucial for maintaining an inclusive and accessible workplace. In today’s diverse and modern society, required in-office work should not be an obstacle for individuals with disabilities.
Everyone can contribute to creating more inclusive spaces by increasing awareness of and respect toward individuals with disabilities and accessibility needs. An open mind, a respectful attitude, and a desire to create safe and accessible spaces for everyone is a must-have for an inclusive work culture. Employers can help break down barriers in the workplace by engaging employees in discussions and training sessions surrounding accessibility. These discussions and training sessions should increase employees’ awareness and understanding of many types of disabilities and accessibility needs, including mobility, vision, hearing, cognition, and “invisible” disabilities. For more information and a quote on training programs on accessibility and inclusion, reach out to Level D&I Solutions today!
Accessible Attractions – Columbus, OH
The City of Columbus, OH has put a lot of effort into universal design and creating accessible spaces and attractions. Here are some Columbus-specific resources and activities for individuals with disabilities and accessibility needs:
Here is a curated list of accessible theaters and shows for November – December 2022 in Columbus (compiled by Rosemarie Rossetti and published by Experience Columbus). Resources provided by these theaters include wheelchair accessible seats, Listen EVERYWHERE system for streaming audio to smart phones and hearing aids, assisted listening devices, and ASL interpreters.
November 8-13. Hairspray November 18-19 Columbus Symphony - Mighty Morton Organ Festival with Cameron Carpenter December 2-4. Columbus Symphony - Holiday Pops with Tony DeSare December 8-24. BalletMet - The Nutcracker
November 17. Backstage @ The Lincoln - Myko Glaze & Tylur Starks November 18. Becky Robinson – The Heavy Pour Tour November 26. Thick Thighs & Sweet Potato Pies
The preferred site to see the upcoming events and order tickets is CBUS Arts.
Here is an example of how COSI maintains an inclusive and accessible environment.
Here is how the Columbus Zoo is incorporating inclusion initiatives.
Additional Recreation and Accessible Activities in Columbus, OH.
Additional resources for Disability Inclusion and Support
Dream with Us! The Center for Disability Empowerment provides services and supports to individuals with ANY disability, their families and to communities by empowering them to support independence and advocating for full inclusion.
Check out this quick guide on digital accessibility for more tips and information.
Additional resources on Developing an Accessible workplace from SHRM.