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Section 1. Overview of Tactics for Modifying Access, Barriers, and Opportunities

What do we mean by modifying access, barriers, and opportunities?

___You understand that access refers to access to positive and healthy services, products, practices, amenities, information, and institutions.

___You understand that, in order to enhance access, barriers to it have to be removed or changed.

___You understand that creating opportunities for access doesn’t guarantee that people will take advantage of them.

What constitutes access to community services, amenities, practices, products, and information?

___You’re concerned with physical access, not only for the disabled, but for those with transportation or other issues that prevent them from using services and amenities.

___You work toward access to information for everyone.

___You understand that access is denied if services are unavailable, whether because they don’t exist, because they are limited in scope by funding, because they are limited to certain groups, because people don’t know about them, or because they are unresponsive to the time and place needs of their intended users.

___You know that people also are denied access when services exist, but are ineffective.

What are the barriers to access to services, amenities, practices, products, and information?

___You recognize the societal barriers to access:

  • Lack of education
  • Lack of decent employment
  • Stereotyping and prejudice
  • Lack of services for particular issues
  • Choices the society makes

___You recognize the institutional barriers to access:

  • Location
  • Lack of physical access
  • Administrative roadblocks
  • Poor communication
  • Lack of cultural sensitivity

___You recognize the personal barriers to access:

  • Psychological
  • Lack of organizational skills
  • The uncertainty of life in poverty
  • Cultural or religious issues
  • Family concerns
  • Peer pressure
  • Lack of job and personal skills

___You understand that barriers can be positive when they’re erected to keep people from using unhealthy or dangerous practices and products. These kinds of barriers include smoking bans in public buildings, regulation of handgun sales, and laws against selling alcohol to minors.

What do we mean by opportunities for access to services, amenities, practices, products, and information…and for access to or use of unsafe or unhealthy behaviors or circumstances?

___You understand that improving opportunities for access to positive services, practices, and products, as well as limiting opportunities for access to unhealthy practices and products, requires careful analysis of both what you can affect and how and where to apply your efforts in order to reach potential users.

What tactics might be useful in modifying access, barriers, and opportunities?
You’re aware of the following tactics:

___Reducing access to unhealthy products and practices, through such actions as encouraging food stores to eliminate some unhealthy snacks and replace them with healthier alternatives.

___Enhancing access to healthy products and practices through such actions as forming support groups for those trying to adopt healthier behaviors.

___Extending opportunities for the poor through, for instance, development zones and social entrepreneurship programs.

___Increasing access for people with physical disabilities.

___Using outreach to increase access, perhaps by bringing services to where users are.