The means through which a person can gain entrance or contact with something previously out of reach.
In movies, you'll hear the words "access granted" as the super spy breaks into a locked room. We often equate access to locked items, which is true, but employees need access to training, kids need access to education, and businesses need access to funds. It is access that allows us to carry out our day-to-day business.
You may have also heard the phrase "access denied." The deal of access occurs when a person has been prevented from entering or contacting someone or something. The denial of access is just as common as the granting of access. Kids are denied access to a jar of cookies before dinner, an employee is denied access to specific computer files, and even a cat can be denied access outside.
While the denials of access mentioned are minor, it is important to note that there are types of denied entry or contact that can be detrimental to the parties involved. For example, a child who uses a wheelchair may not have access to a local play structure because there is no wheelchair ramp on the playground. This lack of access is discriminatory and detrimental to the individual who was trying to gain access.
Example of Access
Teri has a company that manufactures various textiles and fabrics. Before opening the doors to her store, Teri researched and accessed the best raw materials to make her end product of quality textiles and fabrics. She has also spent ample time and money in training her small staff. Teri watches every step of the process to ensure her high quality is met.
With access to a significant initial investment, Teri has invested in many areas of her business; she has only chosen the best for her store, materials, marketing, and staff. By having access to key business ingredients, Teri can succeed in her textile and fabric store and grant access to her local community.
Access vs. Accessibility
The word access is in the word accessibility. Accessibility is most often used when referring to individuals with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities use specific items to make life more accessible. These items could be a wheelchair, cane, technology device, or service animal.
Individuals with disabilities are protected by various laws to ensure that they always have access to physical places. In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 provides that all new buildings must be accessible to all individuals, even those with a disability. Older, established buildings must be retrofitted with the required equipment to become accessible to all people.
Currently, computer or internet accessibility is a necessity for people around the world. This access is seen as a right to most people, yet access can be unobtainable in poverty-stricken communities. Most recently, schools and even work have moved online. This change to an online work environment has made computer and internet accessibility vital to children and adults' success.