Tag Archives: accessibility

Home accessibility

Whether it’s an unexpected injury or a birth condition, a temporary disAbility or something you’ve been dealing with your entire life, a physical limitation can make all the difference in how a person completes his/her everyday tasks. Something as simple as entering and exiting your home can become challenging if your home has not been properly assessed and made accessible for those with disAbilities. In order to make sure your home is as welcoming and as accessible as possible, we encourage you follow these tips for transforming your habitat.

Entry Ramps and Lifts
From one step to one flight, stairs are a difficult hurdle and hazardous to a person living with a disAbility. Entry ramps or wheelchair lifts can be permanent or portable solutions for homes in need of becoming wheelchair accessible, providing ease of access into the house. Entry ramps prove to be especially beneficial when carrying heavy luggage, groceries or moving furniture. Aside from allowing a wheelchair user to easily enter and exit the building, ramps offer convenience to guests wheeling strollers or using walkers.

Handrails and Support Bars
Installing handrails and support bars along staircases, bathtubs, toilets and other areas where a person with a disAbility may struggle without them is an easy way to make your home more accessible. Make sure handrails following staircases extend beyond the first and last steps, providing maximum support. You can also purchase floor-to-ceiling poles and install them at various locations throughout the home. Placing these poles adjacent to couches ease in day-to-day movement through the space. They are designed to aid those with disAbilities in standing, sitting or transferring to/from a wheelchair.

Mind Your Floors
Cluttered hallways, loose rugs and high thresholds can be a danger to someone trying to maneuver through the building in a wheelchair. Try to keep your traffic areas free from unnecessary decorations such as side tables and rugs that cannot be secured to the floor. Plush carpets may also prove to be a hindrance for someone with a disAbility, so use hardwood or tiled floors wherever possible. Additionally, you can purchase flat thresholds at hardware stores, which make transferring from carpeted to non-carpeted areas less of a hazard.

Accessibility in the Workplace

With more and more people with disAbilities entering the workforce each year, the demand for increased accessibility on job sites continues to grow. While many places of employment adhere to ADA standards, there are other things to consider when looking to improve accessibility. If you’ve just started a new job or have found certain difficulties completing your duties at your current position, these two strategies can help better problematic situations.

Speak Up and Ask About Accessibility
Perhaps the building’s entrance is equipped with a ramp and automatic door opener but the door to your office or company suite is not. Maybe the accessible bathroom or stall is too small and difficult to maneuver in, or your cubicle doesn’t allow you to make turns in your chair. Most of these issues have relatively simple solutions and employers shouldn’t be hesitant to requesting changes to the building manager or scheduling the updates themselves. However, if you do not speak up and report these issues, they might go permanently unnoticed. Even if you find that your employer is not convinced that the changes are necessary, be sure to stress to them that workers are likely to be much more productive in an environment they can easily access and feel comfortable in.

If You Have a Disability Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
While we wish every single building or office in the world was 100 percent accessible, sometimes people with disAbilities must work around unavoidable barriers. If you find that there are aspects or areas of your job that you cannot independently complete or access, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Whether it’s by opening a heavy door or carrying your laptop to the conference room, most of your colleagues would be happy to be of assistance. It might be especially helpful to designate a routine for a specific co-worker to help with a task you know you’ll be performing each day.

Whether it’s your first job or where you plan to retire, your place of employment should be comfortable and accessible – an environment in which you can thrive. Report issues and ask for help whenever you need it and you’ll be working towards a fulfilling and rewarding career.

Summer Travel Guide: Booking Accessible Lodging

Longer, sun-filled days mean you may be in the midst of finalizing arrangements for summer vacation plans. While accessible travel options have seen major upgrades in the past few years with new aircraft regulations and increased accessible vehicle availability, travelers with disabilities are still often faced with difficulties when it comes to accessible lodging. Inaccurate descriptions and miscommunications are the leading causes of issues upon arrival. If you want to ensure your vacation plans go off without a hitch, be sure to take extra measures and follow these booking tips.

  • When booking a hotel room or other type of lodging, be advised that ‘Accessible’ or ‘ADA Compliant’ rooms may not meet your specific needs. The features that constitute these designations may vary across the country and around the world.
  • Before committing to a hotel, cruise, resort, etc., be sure to speak directly to a representative at the actual location. Whether it’s via phone or email, you’ll need to describe your exact needs when it comes to accessibility and a person who is familiar with the establishment will be your best bet as far as accurate answers go.
  • Ask reservation agents to take pictures of their accessible accommodations. With the widespread use of smartphones and tablets, this has become a pretty simple request, and one that can make a huge impact on your vacation.
  • Making a reservation at a hotel does not guarantee you a specific room, but rather locks you in at the chosen rate. In order to be absolutely certain that your accessible room will be ready for you, you’ll need to ask the booking agent to ‘block’ it.
  • If in doubt, ask for measurements. A floor plan of the room, door widths, bed height, etc. can all be excellent tools in helping you determine if the accommodations will meet your needs.
  • Some hotels pools offer a zero-depth entrance or pool lifts, finding out in advance is helpful for planning purposes.
  • If you are having a hard time getting straight answers from the person you are speaking to, don’t hesitate to take your business elsewhere. There are usually a number of available options when it comes to lodging at any destination and you’ll likely be better off choosing a location that is willing to work with you.

Accessibility when it comes to overnight accommodations shouldn’t stop you from having the trip you deserve. Following these tips when booking your rooms or rentals can help make sure your next vacation is one you’ll be bragging to your friends about.

Universal design

Universal design

Universal Design makes things safer, easier and more convenient for everyone.
Universal Design involves designing products and spaces so that they can be used by the widest range of people possible. Universal Design evolved from Accessible Design, a design process that addresses the needs of people with disabilities. Universal Design goes further by recognizing that there is a wide spectrum of human abilities. Everyone, even the most able-bodied person, passes through childhood, periods of temporary illness, injury and old age. By designing for this human diversity, we can create things that will be easier for all people to use.

Who Does Universal Design Benefit?
Everyone.
Universal Design takes into account the full range of human diversity, including physical, perceptual and cognitive abilities, as well as different body sizes and shapes. By designing for this diversity, we can create things that are more functional and more user-friendly for everyone. For instance, curb cuts at sidewalks were initially designed for people who use wheelchairs, but they are now also used by pedestrians with strollers or rolling luggage. Curb cuts have added functionality to sidewalks that we can all benefit from.

What can be Universally Designed?
Everything.

  • Universal Design can apply to anything that can be designed, including products like door handles, kitchen utensils and smartphones.
  • Universal Design can be applied to architecture and the built environment, including public and commercial buildings, as well as residential buildings and family homes.
  • Universal Design can also be applied to the community at large through urban planning and public transportation.

Universal Design vs. the Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a piece of legislation that protects the civil rights of people with disabilities by ensuring that they are not unfairly denied access to job opportunities, goods or services due to their disability. The ADA includes the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which outlines accessibility requirements for buildings and facilities. There is a great deal of overlap between what is required under the ADA and what would be suggested by Universal Design, but there are also differences. The ADA outlines the bare minimum necessary in order to curb discrimination against people with disabilities, while Universal Design strives to meet the best practices for design, which are always evolving and improving as we continue to learn more about how to best meet people’s different needs. The ADA focuses solely on the civil rights of people with disabilities, while Universal Design is designed with everyone in mind. The ADA does not apply to single family residences, while Universal Design can and should.

Below are some examples of universal designs:

Low Force Flooring Materials
There is actually a reason that short, stiff carpets and hard surface floors are found in most public buildings. If you use a wheelchair, you know how difficult it can be to push through even slightly plush carpet. Wheelchairs, handcarts, strollers – they are all easier to operate on hard surfaces.

Seamless Room Transitions
Room thresholds are most common in transitions between areas of carpeting and hard surfaces, and those lips can be not only difficult, but painful to maneuver over. Sticking to a consistent flooring style and removing those thresholds can make a huge impact on ease of maneuvering an interior.

Access for Pools
An hour of freely moving around in the water gives people with severe arthritis, muscle atrophy, and more a way to recover and live a significantly more pain-free life. This is why an increasing number of public pools have accessible chairs on metal arms by the side of the pool.

Lever Handles Instead of Knobs
Knobs, while being visually more appealing, require quite a bit more arm and wrist torque to move the bolt. Lever handles require both less force and overall motion.

Close Captioning/Large Print
Tablets, eReaders, smartphones, and more have shortcuts to increase font size easily – another great example of subtle universal design. This is the same principle behind why Netflix, YouTube and others alike now have captioning built in. Disability or not, these features can make life easier.

 

Wheelchair Accessibility

Wheelchair accessibility helps people who can no longer get around without support. You can optimize your home and your daily life to make things easier for your loved one if they are not as mobile as they use to be.

Wheelchair Ramps
Ramps make it much easier for people in wheelchairs to exit and enter their homes. The material for the ramps should be standard wood, but you can use protective coatings on the ramp to make sure that the weather doesn’t weaken it. You must check to see if the person using the wheelchair can easily push themselves up the ramp and down the ramp without the wheels getting snagged on anything.

Don’t space the wooden planks too far apart. The gaps in the wood can cause a bumpy ride at the least and a health hazard if you’re not careful. You can even buy portable ramps that you can take with you on road trips. The person in the wheelchair may also need help getting into vehicles and other establishments. Portable ramps can certainly come in handy at the most inconvenient times.

Wider Doors Inside
You must ensure that doors have easy paths of travel. Don’t place boxes or other items close to doors when a person using a wheelchair will have to navigate through the opening. The doors in the home may need to be wider if they are less than 32 inches wide. The wheelchair user must have plenty of space to get through.

Wider doors can also make a people feel more comfortable inside the home. The bare minimum amount of space can make them feel cramped and closed in. They should at least be given some freedom of movement even though they are using a wheelchair.

Wider Hallways
Wider hallways are also essential to the comfort and well-being of someone who gets around in a wheelchair. The wheelchair must be able to move freely through the halls with plenty of space to spare. Make sure there is at least 36 inches of space between the walls in the hallways.

You might also need wider hallways if the wheelchair will need to turn corners to get to different rooms. It can be difficult for a wheelchair to navigate through tight corridors without rounded corners. Leaving plenty of space will ensure a happier and healthier experience.

Bathroom Changes
It’s time to get rid of that bathtub in your bathroom. Showers are much more accessible for wheelchairs than bathtubs. You can also install hand-held shower heads and seats so that people using wheelchairs can have a better chance at bathing themselves. The person will be much more comfortable in the shower since they can just open the door and wheel their way in.

Benefits Of Owning A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

With adaptive technologies emerging each year, mobility vehicles have become more powerful than ever before. These handicap solutions have changed the lives of countless persons with disAbilities and helped alleviate some of the everyday challenges of just as many caregivers. If you’ve been considering the addition of a wheelchair accessible vehicle to your family, here are three ways in which owning a handicap van or car can empower you and transform your entire life.

Safety
Whether you’re a person with a disAbility, a dedicated caregiver or an able-bodied family member, safety is a universal concern and one of the main benefits of owning a vehicle designed for adaptive use. Besides power wheelchair lifts and transfer seating options, these vehicles are built to be used by persons with limited mobility, meaning they have been modified to be a secure transportation solution. Additionally, the high-quality equipment used in handicap van conversions reduces the risk of injury while getting in and out of the vehicle, as well as transferring from a wheelchair to a built-in seat. With wheelchair ties, in-floor ramps and alternative restraint options, a wheelchair accessible van can provide the added safety you need to feel confident on the road.

Freedom
For many people, owning a mobility vehicle means having the freedom to be able to go anywhere, any time. Often, persons with physical disAbilities are able to operate a handicap accessible car or van independently, without the need to have a caregiver help them in and out of the vehicle. Thanks to lifts, ramps and transfer seats, as well as hand controls and other conversion options, wheelchair vans have helped countless individuals regain their freedom after an injury or due to a medical condition, transforming their lives for the better.

Accessibility and Ease of Use
Automatic ramp systems, in-floor ramp technology, low-effort steering and many other adaptive conversion possibilities make operating mobility vehicles simple and convenient. This accessibility not only makes these vehicles easy to grow accustomed to, it also prevents injuries that can occur if the proper equipment is not utilized. Practicality and usability are two huge benefits of owning a wheelchair accessible vehicle, as they make getting from point A to point B a seamless and enjoyable process.

Ready to begin your search for the perfect wheelchair accessible vehicle? Contact us or your local NMEDA dealer today to discuss the purchasing process and the best options for your needs.

Home accessibility

Whether it’s an unexpected injury or a birth condition, a temporary disAbility or something you’ve been dealing with your entire life, a physical limitation can make all the difference in how a person completes his/her everyday tasks. Something as simple as entering and exiting your home can become challenging if your home has not been properly assessed and made accessible for those with disAbilities. In order to make sure your home is as welcoming and as accessible as possible, we encourage you follow these tips for transforming your habitat.

Entry Ramps and Lifts
From one step to one flight, stairs are a difficult hurdle and hazardous to a person living with a disAbility. Entry ramps or wheelchair lifts can be permanent or portable solutions for homes in need of becoming wheelchair accessible, providing ease of access into the house. Entry ramps prove to be especially beneficial when carrying heavy luggage, groceries or moving furniture. Aside from allowing a wheelchair user to easily enter and exit the building, ramps offer convenience to guests wheeling strollers or using walkers.

Handrails and Support Bars
Installing handrails and support bars along staircases, bathtubs, toilets and other areas where a person with a disAbility may struggle without them is an easy way to make your home more accessible. Make sure handrails following staircases extend beyond the first and last steps, providing maximum support. You can also purchase floor-to-ceiling poles and install them at various locations throughout the home. Placing these poles adjacent to couches ease in day-to-day movement through the space. They are designed to aid those with disAbilities in standing, sitting or transferring to/from a wheelchair.

Mind Your Floors
Cluttered hallways, loose rugs and high thresholds can be a danger to someone trying to maneuver through the building in a wheelchair. Try to keep your traffic areas free from unnecessary decorations such as side tables and rugs that cannot be secured to the floor. Plush carpets may also prove to be a hindrance for someone with a disAbility, so use hardwood or tiled floors wherever possible. Additionally, you can purchase flat thresholds at hardware stores, which make transferring from carpeted to non-carpeted areas less of a hazard.

Accessibility in the Workplace

With more and more people with disAbilities entering the workforce each year, the demand for increased accessibility on job sites continues to grow. While many places of employment adhere to ADA standards, there are other things to consider when looking to improve accessibility. If you’ve just started a new job or have found certain difficulties completing your duties at your current position, these two strategies can help better problematic situations.

Speak Up and Ask About Accessibility
Perhaps the building’s entrance is equipped with a ramp and automatic door opener but the door to your office or company suite is not. Maybe the accessible bathroom or stall is too small and difficult to maneuver in, or your cubicle doesn’t allow you to make turns in your chair. Most of these issues have relatively simple solutions and employers shouldn’t be hesitant to requesting changes to the building manager or scheduling the updates themselves. However, if you do not speak up and report these issues, they might go permanently unnoticed. Even if you find that your employer is not convinced that the changes are necessary, be sure to stress to them that workers are likely to be much more productive in an environment they can easily access and feel comfortable in.

If You Have a Disability Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
While we wish every single building or office in the world was 100 percent accessible, sometimes people with disAbilities must work around unavoidable barriers. If you find that there are aspects or areas of your job that you cannot independently complete or access, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Whether it’s by opening a heavy door or carrying your laptop to the conference room, most of your colleagues would be happy to be of assistance. It might be especially helpful to designate a routine for a specific co-worker to help with a task you know you’ll be performing each day.

Whether it’s your first job or where you plan to retire, your place of employment should be comfortable and accessible – an environment in which you can thrive. Report issues and ask for help whenever you need it and you’ll be working towards a fulfilling and rewarding career.

Summer Travel Guide: Booking Accessible Lodging

Longer, sun-filled days mean you may be in the midst of finalizing arrangements for summer vacation plans. While accessible travel options have seen major upgrades in the past few years with new aircraft regulations and increased accessible vehicle availability, travelers with disabilities are still often faced with difficulties when it comes to accessible lodging. Inaccurate descriptions and miscommunications are the leading causes of issues upon arrival. If you want to ensure your vacation plans go off without a hitch, be sure to take extra measures and follow these booking tips.

  • When booking a hotel room or other type of lodging, be advised that ‘Accessible’ or ‘ADA Compliant’ rooms may not meet your specific needs. The features that constitute these designations may vary across the country and around the world.
  • Before committing to a hotel, cruise, resort, etc., be sure to speak directly to a representative at the actual location. Whether it’s via phone or email, you’ll need to describe your exact needs when it comes to accessibility and a person who is familiar with the establishment will be your best bet as far as accurate answers go.
  • Ask reservation agents to take pictures of their accessible accommodations. With the widespread use of smartphones and tablets, this has become a pretty simple request, and one that can make a huge impact on your vacation.
  • Making a reservation at a hotel does not guarantee you a specific room, but rather locks you in at the chosen rate. In order to be absolutely certain that your accessible room will be ready for you, you’ll need to ask the booking agent to ‘block’ it.
  • If in doubt, ask for measurements. A floor plan of the room, door widths, bed height, etc. can all be excellent tools in helping you determine if the accommodations will meet your needs.
  • Some hotels pools offer a zero-depth entrance or pool lifts, finding out in advance is helpful for planning purposes.
  • If you are having a hard time getting straight answers from the person you are speaking to, don’t hesitate to take your business elsewhere. There are usually a number of available options when it comes to lodging at any destination and you’ll likely be better off choosing a location that is willing to work with you.

Accessibility when it comes to overnight accommodations shouldn’t stop you from having the trip you deserve. Following these tips when booking your rooms or rentals can help make sure your next vacation is one you’ll be bragging to your friends about.

Thousands Offered For Disability Innovations

With $25,000 in prize money on the line, inventors are being challenged to tackle real-world barriers facing people with disabilities.

United Cerebral Palsy is offering up cash to anyone who can turn one of three ideas they’ve pinpointed into reality. The reward is being offered for creating a solar-powered wheelchair, a fold-up motorized wheelchair that can fit inside a typical car or a documentary focusing on the successes of people living with cerebral palsy in the 21st century.

The ideas were picked from nearly 500 that were submitted last year to the organization’s “Change My World In 1 Minute” contest. The challenge called for ideas that would “improve mobility, independence, accessibility, communication or social connections” for those with cerebral palsy.

“We’re challenging the world to bring these three innovative ideas to life and to help people living with disabilities become more independent, increase accessibility and raise awareness,” said Stephen Bennett, president and CEO of UCP. “We invite everyone, including universities, engineers, companies, inventors, hackers and makers to bring their best thinking to the contest. This is a chance to use the best of humanity’s gifts to change the lives of others.”

Entries to the contest are due March 31 and the winners — who will share in the $25,000 prize money — are expected to be announced ahead of World Cerebral Palsy Day on Sept. 2.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Cerebral Palsy Alliance
Cerebral Palsy Alliance logo.svg
Type Non-Profit
Industry Nonprofit organization
Founded 1945
Founder(s) Audrie McLeod, CBE, Neil McLeod, OBE
Headquarters 187 Allambie Road
Allambie Heights, NSW 2100
Website cerebralpalsy.org.au

The Cerebral Palsy Alliance (formerly The Spastic Centre) is a not-for-profit organization which provides services to adults and children withcerebral palsy from over 70 sites across New South Wales, Australia.

Contents

History[edit]

Cerebral Palsy Alliance was founded on 30 January 1945 by a group of parents of children with cerebral palsy under the leadership of Audrie and Neil McLeod. It was the first organisation of its type in the world for people with cerebral palsy.[1]

Services[edit]

Cerebral Palsy Alliance services include:

  • Technology services
  • Equipment services
  • Mobility programs
  • Employment services
  • Day programs for adults
  • Accommodation support
  • Respite care
  • Therapy and education services
  • Aquatic programs
  • Information
  • Recreation

Cerebral palsy register[edit]

An Australian CP Register has been established to guide future research in prevention, intervention and service provision.

Fundraising[edit]

Miss Australia[edit]

Miss Australia Quest/Awards was run by The Spastic Centres of Australia for 45 years. Over its duration entrants, their families, committees, sponsors and the general public of Australia raised in excess of A$87 million. [2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ “Our History | Cerebral Palsy Alliance”. Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  2. ^ About Us – Miss Australia, Cerebral Palsy Alliance website.

External links[edit]