I believe we need to shift the way we think and talk about disability and accessibility. We need more holistic conversations about what it means to be disability-friendly. Focusing on just a building, just a website, just an email, just an event, or just an accommodation – well, it is just not enough. We live our lives moving between these spaces. I believe our discussion of accessibility needs to do so as well.

I founded Accessible Community to address this and we are committed to nurturing disability-friendly communities through ethical technology. Unlike many functional needs mappings, the tools we are building require a mapping that includes facilities, events, websites, social media, and accommodations. 

The taxonomy has to be detailed enough that we can map accessibility requirements to functional needs but clear and usable enough that a wide audience of people with disabilities could use it successfully. We have used a multi-level approach to meet these often conflicting needs.

This work resulted in useable, a multi-level disability needs taxonomy. To celebrate disability pride month and to encourage more disability-centered tools, we shared our mapping in an open source GitHub repository. There is currently a JSON structure that can be incorporated into various tools by simply downloading it.

Useable is a work in progress. We encourage anyone interested to review and comment on it. We will incorporate comments and feedback monthly. Our goal is that useable will aid in worldwide tool development of disability-centered applications. Please help us shift the conversation.