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Escola de Arquitetura

Universidade Federal

Minas Gerais

Rua Paraiba 697
sl 125

Belo Horizonte


(5531) 3409 8810 



Accessibility means simultaneously both condition (static status) and process (dynamic status). Understanding the difference between these two definitions is relevant, always. 

As being considered solely a condition, the notion of accessibility conveys the idea that it can be easily identified as being opposed to inaccessibility at certain place, in a certain time, by certain people. However, this dialectical notion fits well only to extreme cases. The experience of inaccessibility may be evident for certain people but not to many others. Therefore, the awareness about accessibility as a social problem tends to become ignored and restricted to the need of minority groups. 

As being a process, however, accessibility does not require that the focus should go for parallel solutions aimed at addressing specific information of uncommon physical condition, abilities or characteristics of disabilities. Its dynamic nature implies the recognition that a complex and continuing mesh of design flaws exist in diverse environmental conditions of inaccessibility and accessibility for different people to act autonomously and independently. Then, studying distinct accessibility conditions and combining them through the cultural screen of user empowerment in equal opportunities for social participation leads to greater understanding for application in structural resources in built environment, installations and systems. This way, accessibility as process becomes more meaningful as it relates to improving the quality of experience in which all users interact with built environments.

Since legislation sustains on rights for each individual before situations of opression and unjustice, the concept of accessibility is commonly understood as the condition that benefits people with uncommon needs who are at social disadvantage due to disabilities. This is not wrong, but such emphasis may be used out of the context as it reduces the feasibility that fundamental changes should occur in existing structures and systems. Therefore, at basis of no discrimination on disabilities, the need is for design professionals and empowered users to recognize accessibility as, simultaneously, both condition and process required for everyone to build socially inclusive environments for all...

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