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Accessibility describes a space, practice, or event that meets the access needs of all those in attendance. -National Disability Rights Network, adapted by Michelle Xie  [1]

"Universal accessibility is the character of a product, process, service, information or environment which, with a view to fairness and an inclusive approach, allows anyone to carry out activities independently and to obtain equivalent results." - Groupe DÉFI Accessibilité (GDA) [2] & Ex Aequo

Ex Aequo distinguishes accessibility from adaptation:

"Adaptation would consist of changes made in order to accommodate people in relation to “an environment, a communication, a program, or an already existing service.
We adapt when we build a subway with only stairs, then add elevators several years later.
We make it universally accessible when we provide access ramps to the buses."

Access culture expands on the definition of accessibility, explaining:

"Spaces accessible to marginalized people – who are abused on many levels – embody openness, deliverance, freedom. An open space is an offered embrace. For people who live on the margins, who have to fight to prove their existence, who are excluded from movements, who are subject to abuse in the form of isolation, having access to spaces means having access to community, to connection, to existence.When we make spaces accessible, when we build movements based on inclusion, we recognize that each person has an intrinsic value, that our existence is beautiful and necessary. Creating accessible spaces is about recognizing that connection is necessary, that community is necessary, that our culture is built on the myth of separation, the lie of disconnection. We must move from independence to interdependence in order to transform society."

For more on accessibility and examples that illustrate it, please see our wiki guide on making your activism accessible.

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  2. Groupe DEFI Accessibilite (GDA) - Research report for associations in Montreal - Universal Accessibility and contributing designs (version 5.3), Langevin, Rocque, Chalghoumi & Ghorayeb, University of Montreal