Barriers to Access

Documents in Alternative Formats are available. For additional assistance, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance at (479) 575-4019 or oeoc@uark.edu.

The University strives to prevent and remove barriers to access through maintenance and response to reported problems. Individuals who encounter a physical, electronic, or programmatic barrier on campus, such as an inoperative elevator or wheelchair lift, an inaccessible website, a blocked access ramp or any other access barrier, can assist the University in this effort by identifying the problem so the barrier can be removed as quickly as possible in order to maintain access for everyone.

Reports about barriers and other campus accessibility concerns should be reported by using the online form by clicking the following link: Barriers to Access Reporting Form

In order to properly address accessibility, understanding barriers is imperative.

Barriers to access are conditions or obstacles that prevent individuals with disabilities from using or accessing knowledge and resources as effectively as individuals without disabilities. Common types of barriers include:

Physical/Architectural/Structural: Conditions in any structural environment that prevent or impede an individual with a disability from efficiently navigating the setting. This barrier may result from the design of the building, shape of rooms, size of doorways, or width of hallways.

Examples:

      • Steps and curbs that block a person with mobility impairment from entering a building or using a sidewalk;
      • Inaccessible events or meeting spaces;
      • Accessibility features, such as automatic doors, are broken and not fixed promptly.

Information or Communication: When a person with a disability cannot easily receive and/or understand information that is available to others.

Examples:

      • Written communications or learning materials with barriers that prevent people with vision impairments from receiving the message. These include
        • Use of small print or no large-print versions of material, and
        • No Braille or versions for people who use screen readers.
      • Auditory communications may be inaccessible to people with hearing impairments, including
        • Videos that do not include captioning, and
        • Oral communications without accompanying manual interpretation (such as, American Sign Language).
      • The use of technical language, long sentences, and words with many syllables may be significant barriers to understanding for people with cognitive impairments. 

Technological: Software, electronic, or physical technologies that are not adaptable for use with assistive devices. 

Examples

      • A website or a webpage that does not support screen-reading software or does not provide alternative text for images;
      • Having only one way for individuals to contact you (ex. only by phone);
      • Emails or other electronic communications not accessible to people who use screen readers.

Systemic barriers are policies, practices or procedures that result in some people receiving unequal access or being excluded.

Examples:

      • People with disabilities are excluded from events by not considering their needs at the event planning stage.;
      • Not being aware of the different types of accommodations an employee might need when returning to work after an absence due to a disability.