Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Accommodation Syndrome

By Donna J. Jodhan

I used to be more accepting whenever a company or organization told me that one of their policies included accommodation or the accommodation of the needs of disabled persons.  All well and good but for blind persons, this word is fast becoming a very unpleasant one.  You may be asking why and here are my reasons for what they are worth. 

I do not believe that any company or organization should be using this word because it gives the impression that they are going out of their way to accommodate our needs and demands.  No company or organization should have to feel or be put upon to accommodate any consumer or user.  It should be an automatic reflex or normal process and it should be taken in the same light as providing the same types of services and products to the mainstream world. 

I am often embarrassed whenever I hear this word used in the above context or whenever I am told that this is what companies and organizations are saying.  It sure singles us out and in a normal world it is one of the last things that blind persons need; to be singled out.  Yes, we do indeed have special needs but I don’t really hear this word being used whenever companies and organizations decide to provide their product information and services in multi languages. 

Come to think of it:  Is it not the same thing or concept?  If a company in an English-speaking country needs to attract the attention or provide multi language service, is it not the same thing?  Are they not accommodating the consumer whose first language is not English?

Just my two cents for today.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
Weekly features on how to increase your success with your business ventures:

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.

The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.

The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.

Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.

Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.

Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email to request permission.

Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.

Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.

Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.