Tag Archives: wheelchair accessible

Accessible Holiday Parties

Plan ahead by finding out information about your guests.

  • Ask if anyone has a special diet or food allergy to consider
  • Find out if anyone is bringing a service animal – your Fluffy may not appreciate Fido, so you may want to take your pets into a separate area of your home
  • Decide what area of the house could be a private place – some people may need to take medication, change feeding tubes or have other personal needs

Food accessibility can be determined by thinking about food shape, size, consistency, and packaging.

  • Large and floppy sandwiches with loose ingredients may be difficult to hold for those with limited dexterity
  • Try to limit the use of wet ingredients in sandwiches, like tomatoes, because it makes them soggy and hard to hold
  • Smaller items are easier to eat and pick up
  • Limit the amount of cutting that foods require
  • Serve foods that stay on a fork – rice, small vegetables and long spaghetti noodles are more difficult than tortellini or rigatoni
  • Soup is not very accessible
  • Have a variety of differently sized and shaped cutlery
  • Straws, cups with lids and beverages in both cans and bottles provide beverage accessibility
  • Packaging should be easy to open and re-sealable to enable small eaters to save food for later

Conduct an accessibility review of your home. You can’t change everything, such as the foundation of your home, but you can make some simple changes to your home to ensure that people in wheelchairs have better access to things they need:

  • Consider the height of your table – can a wheelchair fit comfortably? If not, consider swapping out your regular dinner table for something taller or shorter
  • Remove barriers that make navigating your house difficult – take out extra coffee tables, lamps, chairs, throw rugs and items that sit on the floor
  • Ensure adequate lighting for persons with visual impairments
  • Keep music low as laughter, noise, talking, music, lights and excitement may already cause over stimulation

Used Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

The used market for wheelchair accessible vehicles has grown in the past few years. This growing popularity seems to suggest that this solution works. In some cases, it does; however, buying a used wheelchair accessible vehicle is not like buying a new car. If you are are interested in purchasing a used vehicle, remember these key points.

  • It must meet your mobility needs
    All wheelchair accessible vehicles are different. Ramp width, door clearance, and interior height will vary between vehicles which will affect whether or not the vehicle will work for your needs. Previously installed aftermarket additions, such as hand controls and securment devices, will have to be removed or replaced considering they were put in for the previous owner. Before you you start your search you should know your exact needs. Be aware that this may narrow your options significantly.
  • Getting your current vehicle fitted with a ramp or lift
    It’s possible to convert a minivan you already own and make it accessible, as long as it meets the requirements set by your mobility dealer. Before doing so, you will need to know which accessible ramp or lift style works best for you and your family.
  • Buying online
    eBay Motors and Craigslist are increasingly popular options for buying vehicles online. An increasing number of wheelchair accessible vehicles are listed on these two sites. While the prices may be tempting, this option can be risky if it’s not being sold by a trusted resource (such as a Mobility Center). Ramps are complex pieces of machinery. Without a specially trained mechanic looking it over, it can be very hard to know if a person is selling a good vehicle. We do not recommend this option because it can lead to numerous issues.
  • Used vehicles from a dealership
    While mobility dealers are specifically trained to help you meet all your mobility needs, most still operate like conventional dealers. Customers sometimes trade-in their old vehicles for credit towards a new vehicle, leaving the dealership with a used vehicle. While not every dealership has a used vehicle inventory, some have good options to work with.

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.

Tips for a Safe, Fun and Accessible Halloween

The promise of handfuls of candy and elaborate decorations makes Halloween a pretty important date in any child’s calendar. This year, make your holiday memories even more special by following these tips!

Wheelchair Accessible Halloween

  • Plan your route out a few days before the holiday. At this point, most houses should have their decorations up in preparation for the big night, so you will be able to assess which houses will be easily accessible for you and your children.
  • Always make sure your child is comfortable wearing a costume, especially if the disguise includes a mask or other constricting pieces. If your kids are not warming up to wearing a bulky or elaborate costume but still want to do something special for Halloween, suggest a simple pair of animal ears or face paint. Also, don’t forget that Halloween takes place on a chilly October day, so plan your child’s outfit accordingly with added layers and cozy gloves!
  • Don’t be afraid to get creative! There are hundreds of great DIY costume ideas out there that can help transform your kids into their favorite characters or superheroes. You can even incorporate their wheelchairs or scooters into costumes. Designing and putting together a fun costume is a great activity to share with your children and can actually be a good learning exercise.
  • Because Halloween is a traditionally scary affair, be sure to prepare your kids for some spooky sights. Talk to them about some of the décor they might see while trick-or-treating, as well as the costumes others might be wearing to make sure they are not caught by surprise. If you notice your child is not responding well to some of these factors, suggest other less frightening yet equally fun activities you could do together, like carving a Jack-o-lantern or decorating your home for autumn.
  • If trick or treating is not the best option for your family, there is no need to forgo the holiday altogether. Throwing a Halloween party at home and stocking it with themed games and snacks can provide the same fun, memorable experiences for your child with added safety and the comforts of home.

Creative Wheelchair Halloween Costume Ideas

Wizard of OZ Star wars Mad Hatter Snoopy Queen of Hearts Mario Kart Motorcycle Batman - Adult Buz Lightyear Astronaut Rex - Toy Story popcorn machine pirate Viking Cinderella Thomas the train Bumble bee batman - child Fisherman Semi Truck Toothless