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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Accessibility \Ac*cess`i*bil"i*ty\, n. [L. accessibilitas: cf. F. accessibilit['e].] The quality of being accessible, or of admitting approach; receptibility.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1800, from accessible + -ity.


n. 1 The quality of being accessible, or of admitting approach; receptiveness. 2 (context computing English) features that increase software usability for users with certain impairments.

  1. n. the quality of being at hand when needed [syn: handiness, availability, availableness] [ant: inaccessibility, inaccessibility]

  2. the attribute of being easy to meet or deal with [syn: approachability] [ant: unapproachability]


Accessibility refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people who experience disabilities. The concept of accessible design and practice of accessible development ensures both "direct access" (i.e. unassisted) and "indirect access" meaning compatibility with a person's assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers).

Accessibility can be viewed as the "ability to access" and benefit from some system or entity. The concept focuses on enabling access for people with disabilities, or special needs, or enabling access through the use of assistive technology; however, research and development in accessibility brings benefits to everyone.

Accessibility is not to be confused with usability, which is the extent to which a product (such as a device, service, or environment) can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.

Accessibility is strongly related to universal design which is the process of creating products that are usable by people with the widest possible range of abilities, operating within the widest possible range of situations. This is about making things accessible to all people (whether they have a disability or not).

Usage examples of "accessibility".

By limiting the accessibility of the names and telephone numbers of employees, a company makes it more difficult for the social engineer to identify targets in the company, or names of legitimate employees for use in deceiving other personnel.

Such an accessibility, in this case, is equivalent to a process of resocialization in which new ways of interpreting perceptual data are learned.

The features and benefits of cellular phones for the businessperson include convenience, time management, cost savings, accessibility and service.

His calculations indicated that the additional circular dimension might be as small as the Planck length, far shorter than experimental accessibility.

Ginger had been quite fierce in forcing this point of her non accessibility and her nonaccountability during her late dalliance, and Betsy had long since learned the lesson that, on the whole, she would rather not know just where her mother went when she went out.

What matters are accessibility and logical and user-friendly work-flows.

I look forward to the day when the LifeShield symbol is as commonplace as an auto-club sticker or a credit-card logo, when a gun-free environment is no longer a saleable curiosity, but a basic expectation, like air conditioning or handicapped accessibility.

As Reynolds (1994) summarizes the Grofian view: "The clinical data Grof has collected during therapy sessions of LSD and holotropic breathwork indicates a very fluid accessibility to all the domains of consciousness.

But the political disunions of Europe, the political convulsions against monarchy, the recalcitrance of the common folk and perhaps also the greater accessibility of the western European intelligence to mechanical ideas and inventions, turned the process into quite novel directions.

He wore a loose, silky garment in subdued gray hues, only its odd accessibilities betraying it as a patient gown.

Their ready accessibility and affordability, in fact, are what often identify them with the working or lower classes and hence often make them less desirable to the more affluent or more "cultured.

For fifteen years there were seen at work, in complete peace, and openly in public places, these great principles, so old to the thinker, so new to the statesman: equality before the law, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the accessibility of every function to every aptitude.

The passageways and chambers of these mines were carefully shored and timbered as the work progressed, resulting in fairly commodious and comfortable quarters for the slaves upon the upper levels at least, and as the city was built upon the surface of an ancient ground moraine, on account of the accessibility of building material, the drainage was perfect, the slaves suffering no inconvenience because of their underground quarters.

I reduced itto sound bites and vulgarized it in the name of accessibility.