Equality vs. Equity: A Visual Impairment Perspective
Hello everyone! I am Juan Pablo Culasso, a person with visual impairment from birth. Throughout my life, I have faced numerous obstacles and barriers in my interaction with society. Often, people tend to confuse the concepts of equality and equity in relation to inclusion and accessibility. In this post, I want to clarify those differences and how they apply to my personal experience in areas such as education, culture, work and air transportation.
Equality vs. Equity
Equality means treating everyone the same, regardless of individual differences, while equity means providing targeted support to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. For people with disabilities, equity is fundamental to ensuring our inclusion and accessibility in society.
Equality vs. Equity in Education
When we talk about equity in education, we mean providing everyone with equal access to educational resources and opportunities. However, for people like me with visual impairment, this is not enough. Equity in education involves adapting and modifying the environment and resources to facilitate our active and effective participation. For example, the availability of Braille materials, audio books and read-aloud software allow me to access information in the same way as my non-disabled peers.
Equality vs. Equity in Culture
In terms of cultural equality, we should all have access to the same cultural activities and events. However, equity would allow people with disabilities to fully enjoy these experiences. For example, in a museum, equity means opening the doors to all. But equity goes beyond that, such as offering guided tours with detailed verbal descriptions of the artwork or tactile exhibits so that people with visual impairments can appreciate art and culture.
Equality vs. Equity in the Workplace
Equality in employment means ensuring that everyone has equal employment opportunities. However, employment equity involves specific accommodations, such as screen-reading software, flexible schedules, and additional training to ensure that people with visual impairments can perform effectively on the job. Equity also involves eliminating biases and stereotypes about our ability to contribute in the workplace.
Equality vs. Equity in Air Travel
Air travel is a perfect example of how equality and equity differ in their approach. Equality in air travel would be simply allowing everyone to board and travel on the plane. Equity, on the other hand, would require airlines to provide personalized assistance to the visually impaired, such as trained staff to guide passengers with disabilities from check-in to their seat on the plane, and provide safety information in accessible formats.
Equality vs. Equity - Conclusion
Equality and equity are two different but complementary concepts in the quest for inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities.
If you would like more information, or to hire a consultant specialized in inclusion and accessibility, do not hesitate to contact us. Together we can make this dream of a more accessible and inclusive world a reality.