To represent the old model of accessibility, I use the idea of a wheelchair ramp—one that’s an addition to an old building as an afterthought. It clearly doesn’t fit. On the other hand, integrated accessibility would be represented by a newer building where accessibility is an integral part of the structure, where a ramp is integrated beautifully into the whole stair system.
Accessibility takes on so many different forms, and there are so many different barriers to contend with. For example, to extend the metaphor of the wheelchair ramp: there are a million barriers to wheelchair access that able-bodied folks don’t consider until they face these hurdles themselves.
After an accident, I used a wheelchair for a month and a half, and seemingly small obstacles, like a half-inch lip of a street curb, became something insurmountable. So to apply that disability metaphor to our students, all of whom are contending with learning disabilities or attention deficits, we may not truly have any concept as to the extent of their needs.