Education is particularly critical for people with disabilities because many career paths are not open to them. For example, someone with vision or mobility issues will not be a fit for working in construction or in a kitchen. As a result, people with disabilities almost always need to look toward tech and computer-based work, which typically requires a higher level of formal education than other career paths.
Many traditional educational institutions have accessibility offices that are intended to provide accommodation to any student who needs it. However, the lived experience of Fable’s community suggests that accessibility offices do not provide all the accommodation one may need. Further, community members indicate a concern that many accessibility officers in universities or colleges do not understand all types of disability, meaning they inadvertently discriminate against those who need the most assistance.
I mostly experienced delays in receiving books in alternate formats, and sometimes not receiving them at all. Other times issues came up that involved me being unable to read PowerPoint slides or illustrations presented in class, or not being able to understand video clips that were presented. I overcame all of the above barriers by doing my own research and finding other more accessible materials that would still allow me to learn the same material and concepts. – Charmaine C.
Despite these barriers though, most people (66%) who attended college or university say they completed their degrees despite accessibility barriers. Only a small minority (5.6%) say they did not face accessibility barriers.