Bree Synot, a person with paraplegia, liv es in her disability-friendly home in Abbotsford, Canada. She uses her ipad to perform day-to-day tasks. She can open the front door to visitors from wherever she is in the house - or even outside it, and operate air-conditioner, etc.
Installing ramps in homes enhances access
Telecommunication Devices for Deaf (TDD) facilitates easy communication
Home is like a heaven on earth, it is where we get peace of mind. However, for a physically challenged person, the structures we normally use in building a home could prove a barrier. A few structural changes such as installing a ramp and lower workspace go a long way in making their lives safer, more comfortable and avoid accidents.
Here are 14 ways - architectural, technological and non-electrical - that will help improve the quality of life for the physically challenged:
Provide Enhanced Ease by Modifying Home Layout
The home architecture should be conducive to safe movement in and around the home. Customizing the house layout, without compromising the decor will facilitate easy movement:
1. Build ramps (in addition to staircases) for easy access wherever possible
2. Frame widened doorways for effortless passage in and out of the house
3. Build easy-slide drawers in cupboards and wardrobes
4. Design a lower kitchen counter and sink for easy reach
5. Install low level switch boards
6. Design accessible layouts for bathrooms and toilets to avoid accidents caused due to slipping
7. Place workspaces like desks, countertops, telephones and other appliances at reachable heights
8. Install disabled toilet seats designed for people affected with paraplegia to provide them with independent space and comfort
Enhance Convenience Leveraging Technology
In this technology-driven era, a new technology is developed each day. It can be a completely new invention or an upgraded version of existing technology. Electrical innovations have touched the sky in recent years. Several such innovations have greatly improved convenience for the physically challenged, some of which are:
1. Wheel-in showers help the disabled to enjoy their morning bath on their seat
2. Specially designed equipment operated by speech provide a great support to people who are visually impaired
3. A recent and unique innovation, LCS or Lip Controlled System serves a human-computer interface controlled by actions of lower lip (sipping and puffing)
4. Talking keypad phones are available to facilitate communication for those who are unable to see
5. For people with speech disabilities, eye-tracking systems amplify the action of eye retina into digital signals to control the mouse cursor that can play games, run applications like Solitaire as well as Skype.
6. Special devices known as Telecommunication Devices for Deaf (TDDs) help people with hearing impairments to communicate to others via text and a modem use
These small modifications can bring a huge change in providing a quality and accident free life to people with disabilities. The convenience, ease and safety that their house provides, rebuilds their confidence and self-esteem, making them independent.
"Enable the Disabled; Translate Disability into Ability; Capability, a winning Opportunity-Indeed a Reality."
-Dr Veena Kumari, Psychiatrist