Accessibility is one of the pillars of the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities: if there is not accessibility, there is no freedom and full enjoyment of human rights for persons with disabilities. Accessibility is therefore a necessary element for rights and freedom. The paper, starting from the analysis of how the accessibility concept is strongly related to rights, gives an account of how an innovative way of looking at people’s bodies interacting with environment is necessary to effectively act in shaping a new inclusive environment. A brief report on the state of implementation of obligations arising from the ratification of the Convention in Italy is provided, as are some examples of good practices carried out in recent years with the strong involvement of associations of people with disabilities in order to demonstrate that is possible to build an inclusive environment through innovative and participatory methodologies and processes.

Keywords: universal design; accessibility; environment; body; participation.