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Grab Bars for Outside Steps

Elderly People Need Grab Bars as safety devices designed to enable a person to maintain balance, lessen fatigue while standing, hold some of their weight while maneuvering, or have something to grab onto in case of a slip or fall. A caregiver may use a grab bag to assist with transferring a patient from one place to another. Today we are going to look at grab bars for outside steps which is mainly to assist the elderly people. Having grab bars for outside steps is one of the greatest ways to make a home safe for older folks, I mean who wouldn’t want their grandparents to feel safe and comfortable at your place. Being able to move up and down a staircase is some we take for granted when we are young. But as we grow older the ability to see, grip and support oneself with a handrail becomes more important. A lot of people add handrails to stairs just to maintain code compliance but it should stick in our heads that the main reason we put handrails is for our safety. No all safety handrails are created equal. A high quality handrail can take much less time and effort to install and be easier to use.

Grab Bars

Grab bars are typically simple piece of equipment that get installed into a wall and help a senior support themselves while they move through activities of daily living .Whether they are installed in a shower, staircase or hallway wall, grab bars offer seniors a safe way to move around while also fostering independence. Essentially these bars allow seniors to grab hold of something to steady themselves as they stand, walk or transition between standing and walking. Especially in  slippery or precarious situations, such as stairs or bathrooms ,grab bars offer peace of mind to caregivers who can assist seniors or allow them to perform activities of daily living alone but safely.

Why Elderly People Need Grab Bars

Grab bars provide multiple health benefits such as:

  • Elderly people are prone to falls around the home, particularly in the bathroom which is usually wet and slippery .The fear of falling could deter a lot of elderly people from using the bathroom as often as they would like to, especially when they do not have human support around them. Installing grab bars in the bathroom and toilet can give them the confidence they need to use the bathroom freely and even go take a stroll in their surroundings
  • More importantly, most cases of falls in the elderly are accompanied by multiple health complications such as fractures, bed sores, depression and many others. Preventing falls by using grab bars is indirectly preventing all these complications.

Elderly Users Need Safety Handrails for Outdoor Steps

When you are installing a handrail for an elderly person it is not about aesthetics or code of compliance. It is about making life easier and more convenient for them therefore you need to look at everything from the view of a person with limited mobility. Specifically you need to think about:

Rail width-Most people do not think twice about the width of the handrail when they go to add one to a railing. However if you had hands that were weakened from arthritis, gripping a slippery rail or one that is thin would be difficult. Use a thick rail made of a material that is not too shiny like powder-coated aluminum or iron. This makes the railing easier to grip

Pitch-very steep stair treads lead to very steep rails. The maximum rise should be about eight inches and your tread should be about at least ten. If you are pushing the limits of the code, your railing is going to be pretty steep for old users. And if your stairs are too steep, just adding a strong railing is not going to help. In this case, you will have to redo the stairs or set up a mobility lift chair. This is not an issue you can fix with a railing. Keeping this in mind also helps keep stair railings and stairs safe in winter, when most falls happens for older folks.

Hardware Stability-A young, healthy person will probably either not use the railing at all, or will only put their hand on it as a guide. But someone walking with a cane or with limited mobility is going to need to support their body weight on the rail .Use strong anchor based railings to ensure that the railing does not go wobbly because of this

Add grab bars near exterior doorsElderly People Need Grab Bars

Grab bars aren’t just helpful in the bathroom; they’re also useful near exterior doors both inside and out. For people who are unsteady on their feet, the simple act of opening a door can prove to be very difficult. A grab bars gives them something to hang onto near house and garage entrances and steps. The prima outdoor grab bar shown is made of weatherproof plastic with an aluminum core and special soft grip moldings that reduce the risk of a user’s hands slipping even when it’s wet. It can mounted horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

Install Handrails in Hallways

Long hallways can be tough on people with limited mobility, which is the reason so many senior care centers have continuous handrail systems. Consider adding the same safety feature at home. You can install a simple wooden railing or consider the Promen Aid handrail system, a problem-solving product that has a unique bracket that slides along an open channel in the bottom of the handrail. This lets you locate the handrail anywhere and slide the brackets to wherever studs are located without adding extra blocking. The brackets also pivot so you can install the handrail vertically or at an angle. These elegant handrails have Snap-On end caps and returns, and the articulating joints allow them to go around corners or along stairs .You can buy complete kits or individual components.

Extend Stair Rails

The handrails for exterior stairs typically end at the bottom step. But stepping off the bottom or preparing to step on them is actually when someone is the most off balance and likely to fall down. Simple rail handrail kits from simplified Building make it easy for DIY’s to build an extended handrail that fits any stairway. The kits use Kee Klamp pipe fittings and come with all the components needed. A  Kee Klamp is a structural pipe fitting commonly used in the construction of handrails and barriers .Fabricated installations comprise the fittings and separate tubing components, which can be sized on site.

Replace Doorknobs with Levers

Gripping and twisting a doorknob can be hard for people with arthritis or a loss of dexterity in their hands. Lever handles solve that problem. You simply press done on the lever to release the door latch without gripping anything, In fact, an elbow or forearm will work too, which is nice when you’re carrying things. Many lever handles are reversible which means they will fit both a right handed or left handed door.

Door Frame Grab Rails

Doors are often fitted with doorsteps creating a difference in height. Extra support may be required for a user to cross such a doorstep but the question is often where such support can be securely installed and still within easy reach. Handicare’s door frame grab rail has been specially designed to be installed on a door frame, the extremely narrow flange is only 30 mm wide.

Vertical Grab Rails for Door Panels

Vertical grab for door panels are aesthetic and provide greater comfort when opening and closing doors .The position of the grab bar can be adjusted either to specific needs or an owner’s wishes. The door grab can be used on the front doors of houses, residential units, office, multipurpose building and at other places. Vertical grab rails are worth it because vertical handles eliminate the diagonal stress on the anchor points to make the handle firmer and thus more resistant to shakiness and also there is more space for hands near the lock to make unlocking the door more convenient.

A Shower Grab Bar is a Big Help

For people with limited mobility or who prefer to shower while seated, a handheld shower head is a terrific help. And even better is a handheld shower head on a sliding rail that allows for individual adjustment. But because those rails are often flimsy, grabbing one could be a disaster.

Widen Doorways with Offset Hinges

Navigating narrow doorways is tough for someone using a wheelchair or walker. Doorways can be widened but it is a complex and costly job. An easier solution is to replace the existing hinges with expandable offset door hinges .These special hinges are designed to swing the door clear of the opening and add 2” inches of clearance.

Replace Toggle Switches with Rocker Switches

It is easier for stiff or arthritic hands to press flat, rocker-style switches than to manipulate toggles. Rocker switches feature a big on and off plate that you can operate with a finger, a knuckle or even an elbow. Some rocker switches are illuminated to make them easy to find day or night. These great little inventions use a tiny bit of electricity from the circuit they err no on to light a small LED or neon bulb and they install as easily as regular switches.

Replace Cabinet Knobs with Handles

Arthritis and stiff joints make grabbing small round knobs on cabinet drawers and door difficult too. Replace these small knobs with C or D shaped pulls which let you tuck your fingers around them, making it easier to open the door or drawer. Consider this for your own kitchen too. Adding new pulls and handles is a quick, inexpensive way to update a kitchen while making it more comfortable and convenient to use over the long term.

Install Invisible Grab Bars

Sometimes people are reluctant to add grab bars because they think it will make their home look institutional. But you can find stylish and sturdy grab bars in many shapes and sizes and finishes and some like those elegant invisia collection.

Add a Rolling Cart to Your Kitchen

A rolling cart is helpful in any kitchen but it is especially helpful for older cooks. It is a convenient prep center and models with drawers or shelves allow someone to store frequently used items and roll it around so their tools are always close at hand. And it can be extremely useful for someone with diminished strength or dexterity to ferry items to and from the table without the risk of dropping things or injuring themselves.

Install Low-Pile Carpet

Thick carpet pile over a thick pad is the worst for anyone who is unstable walking because it increases the likelihood of tripping and falling. It also makes it more difficult to push and maneuver wheelchairs and walkers. To make getting around easier, consider installing a low profile commercial grade carpet with a pile height.

Get LED light bulbs

The average home has 40 light bulbs. Changing a burnt out bulb often involves climbing a ladder or step tool and risking a nasty fall. If you replace those light bulbs with CFLs or even better LEDs there is a good chance they will never have to be changed again in that homeowner’s lifetime. A vertical post light is installed directly on a railing post and uses a small light casing and simple installation. Universal lights can be used different locations and configurations on the other hand a surface light is sunk down flush with the surface of a stair tread or riser. It allows for easier navigation as it fully lights the stair surface, keeping elderly individuals from missing their footing.

In conclusion, when constructing buildings and staircases one should have in mind that there exists the elderly who do not have complete mobility as the younger people. They should always have grab bars around the house and outside the house to facilitate the movement of the older folks so that they may feel free to move around.

 

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How To Make A House Wheelchair Accessible

How to Make a Doorway Wheelchair Accessible?

Introduce a slope on your doorstep. On the off chance that there are stairs, you unquestionably need a slope and railing from the two sides.

Augment entryway outlines. It’s significant to be certain that the wheelchair can undoubtedly fit through each entryway in your home. Standard wheelchairs are 635 mm (25 inch) wide, and for agreeable access entryways ought to be 900 mm (35 in) wide. On the off chance that the entryway is excessively limited, you have to make a gentle redesign and refit. Once in a while, expelling the door jambs is sufficient. If not, you’ll have to call a renovator.

Expel doorsteps. All together for the wheelchair to get in each room unhampered, you better evacuate all doorsteps, and essentially every lopsided piece of the ground surface.

Put a lower peephole. On the off chance that you have the propensity to glance through the peephole when somebody rings the doorbell, it would be a smart thought to put it on eye-level of an individual in a wheelchair. For more noteworthy freedom, security and your significant serenity, it’s an extraordinary thought to introduce wi-fi video doorbell.

What Type of Flooring Do You Need?

So as to explore at home in a wheelchair without issues, you need the correct deck that won’t wear off excessively quick. Here are a couple of solid models.

Hardwood flooring

Beautiful and tasteful, yet additionally one of the most tough materials that will serve for a considerable length of time to come.

Cover flooring

Cover is likewise a lovely material to take a gander at and entirely tough. Scratches fall off effectively with the correct cleaning item.

Fired Tiles

The best deck for kitchens and washrooms, in view of their water obstruction. Be that as it may, yet in the event that you battle a shading or example you like, you can even introduce them in lounge rooms and rooms. Simply ensure they are a 5 cm square (0,78 square inches), as bigger ones are simpler to harm.

Vinyl flooring

Another great water opposing and tough alternative. Likewise, simple to introduce like cover.

How to Make Bathroom Wheelchair Accessible?

How To Make A House Wheelchair Accessible wheelchair accessible home

Since only one out of every odd restroom in naturally made for wheelchair openness, it may be ideal to counsel with a remodel organization for a full structure makeover. The most significant pieces of a wheelchair available washroom are: Space for turning. The washroom needs free space of in any event 1500 mm (59 in) so a wheelchair would have the option to turn 360 degrees. Space before the can bowl. There should be free space of in any event 1200 mm (47 in) before the can bowl.

Rails around the latrine. There should be at any rate three rails for holding. Low wash bowl. The standard for the wash bowl is to be at around 800 mm (31 in) over the floor, yet this can be redone as indicated by the tallness of the individual while in a wheelchair. Rails around the shower. Much the same as with the can, there should be solid rails for holding. Rails around the shower.

Here is a full guide of a wheelchair open washroom and kitchen structure.

How to Make Kitchen Wheelchair Accessible?

Much the same as with the restroom, the kitchen would should be made by specific benchmarks you can depend on a renovator to know. Here’s the manner by which a kitchen ought to be prepared.

Dissemination space of 1500 mm (59 in) for simplicity of turning. Much the same as in the restroom, the kitchen should be open for simple route.

Low work surfaces. All counters, including the kitchen sink, ought to be anything but difficult to use from a sitting position. Their range from the floor ought to be at around 600 mm (23 in), however that can be modified to the person.

Base stockpiling units. Since it’s difficult to reach up for cabinets, stockpiling units should be made right over the ground. For this, they must be minimized and wide enough to keep all family unit items and kitchen cutlery.

Low apparatus setting. So as to have the option to utilize the broiler, hob, clothes washer, dishwasher, they should all be models with side opening and working, just as be inside reach.

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What is Universal Design for Disabled People?

While the term ‘Universal Design’ for disabled people is often linked only to people with disabilities, it includes so much more. They encompass functional, social, and emotional dimensions found through perception, cognition, safety, health promotion, social interaction and more.  Consider these limitations:

  1. Body Fit: Accommodating a wide a range of body sizes and abilities

  2. Comfort: Keeping demands within desirable limits of body function and perception

  3. Awareness: Ensuring that critical information for use is easily perceived

  4. Understanding: Making methods of operation and use intuitive, clear, and unambiguous

  5. Wellness: Contributing to health promotion, avoidance of disease, and protection from hazards

  6. Social Integration: Treating all groups with dignity and respect

  7. Personalization: Incorporating opportunities for choice and the expression of individual preferences

  8. Cultural Appropriateness: Respecting and reinforcing cultural values and the social and environmental contexts of any design project

Universal design is the basic framework for the use of design and environmental access elements that will provide people with disabilities and others, with the right type of livability, usability and comfort.

The disability act provides the right treatment for the widest range of people in all situations, so that no special or separate design is required. This unique design concept is aimed at providing the maximum benefit to all classes of people who are using the spaces. Even people with disabilities can use these spaces without the necessity for any special arrangements, or assistive technology.

The principles of universal design are widely accepted now and many assisted technologies have evolved around these providing all the necessary human factors and ergonomics for convenient use even by persons with serious disabilities.

What is an example of Universal Design?

There are many products that each of use every single day at home and in the office, but we are not aware of it. Each of us walk through a door and do not notice if the device that opened the latch was a door knob, or a levered style handle. You have just used your first universal designed product without knowing.

Once you get to your office, you slide your office chair under a desk. The desk may or may not be designed for accessibility. How would you know? There are ADA guidelines that give specific measurements to height and depth for desks and tables. You may not even know if your desk is compliant unless you measure the opening.

Another example comes in the form of our communication technologies. Using a phone headset that sits on your head is easier than holding the 8″ receiver and cord that we used to use…and some offices still use.

All of us would agree that caring for each others needs should be taken care of at home, with transportation and at any business. If you enjoyed a snow trip with the family next weekend and broke your legs on the slope, then you would appreciate that your company implemented universal design for disabled people throughout the business. Just because we do not have a limitation today, does not mean that next week you will not have accessibility concerns. Each person carries some form of limitations.

The next time that your house, or office, is considering a re-design, communicate your new knowledge about how to design the space, new technologies and processes that will accommodate all people, and include others in a safer environment.

We need to provide anyone with disabilities that come in the form of mental or physical limitations to perform one or more tasks. Age, size, physical, sensory and intellectual abilities all apply to accessibility.

Information on universal design allows us to work safely and remain productive with tools, our workplace environment, work process, communication technologies, emergency procedures, HR policies and information. How do we interpret and analyze the companies work policies, safety and accommodations to complete the tasks that we are given. How about the work environment that we work in? Are the company tools, computers, furniture and safety equipment usable for all employees?

Consider making changes and updating your office for not only your employees, but also any guests or clients that come into your place of business. The first item on your list should be safety. Make sure that all EXIT signs, fire extinguishers and smoke detectors are clearly marked and inform your employees where they are located. Make sure that each person is notified ‘how’ they will be alerted. Will the device be auditory, visual or vibration. Confirm to the staff that all Safety Equipment is up to date, routinely checked, location of safety procedure book and anything else that your region may deem important, such as Tsunami or Earthquake procedures.

How safe do you feel inside of your business? This is called your inclusive environment. Does your inclusive design and environmental surroundings have adequate hallway widths for wheelchairs or walkers, are there any stairs that cause limitations to access, are there electrical cords that clutter a hallway or office, is your lighting more than adequate to produce safe escape routes, are there noises from equipment that cause irritation or limitations.

Once you are inside your building, notice how accessible the signage is to escape routes, bathrooms, elevators and more. Where are the light switches? Any system or control device should be clearly marked and have an assigned employee or service that maintains those systems. Make sure that all levers, door handles, faucets or doors are properly maintained and upkept.

When you are in your office, notice some of the limitations and accessibility of your staff. Do they have proper sized and adjustable chairs that fit their bodies needs. Are desks raised or lowered to fit the persons body size. Make sure that computers have their keyboard, mouse and monitor at correct heights and placements.

Does your staff have appropriate storage at their workstation? Make sure that any storage is safe and that any ladders or step stools are adequate and safe.

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) prevents employers from discriminating all employees or individuals with disabilities against pay, hiring, firing and promotions.  The ADA prohibits any discrimination of employment, communications, transportation, accommodations and access to programs and services.

Each of us benefit from the changes that have been made through the ADA, such as curb cuts in the sidewalk. A curb cut is the corner of the sidewalk that allow you to drive a wheelchair or cart down to the street level without jumping off of a curb.

Ron Mace –  ‘Usable by All People’

“Universal Design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” – Ron Mace

This foundation is the brainchild of Ron Mace, one of the internationally recognized architects, product designers, and educators who looked at the conditions or the users that are related to accessibility.

Ron Mace gave the name universal design to the concept of providing product design, access design elements for a user-centered design. Effective use of size and space by people with diverse abilities, regardless of size posture or mobility, and the body size posture.

Usable by all people is an important aspect that we need to insert into existing built environments, regardless of the users. You may not have a current employee with accessibility needs today, but we need to install or remodel our offices and business so that it minimizes hazards for our guests and future employees.

The Center For Inclusive Design says that we need to “create a world that is better for everyone, where everyone is considered – in the design stage, not just as an accommodation. ID goes beyond the polarised views of ‘abled’ and ‘disabled’ to focus on ‘enablement’ – at every stage of the service and product life cycle, from design and testing, to delivery, CVP and marketing communications.”

Through his Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University (www.design.ncsu.edu/cud) in Raleigh in 1989, he initiated various environmental design researches, with the support of the department of education. Many design handbooks were published and the design and use of many mobility devices were standardized for the benefit of people with handicaps and disabilities.

Ron Mace led a team of 10 members and gave the seven principles of universal design that formed the basis for the adoption of all aiding technologies providing the best user experience even for those with severe disabilities.

After 10 years these basic truths of universal design are re-evaluated based on the public feedback on the access options and the UDL guidelines that formed part of the modern design education.

This evaluation process was conducted by Edward Steinfeld, the then director of the Idea Center at the University of Buffalo.

What are the 7 principles of universal design?

In the present day, these universal design keys are being used all over the world with the help of aiding technologies. Now it is possible to provide a smooth and convenient use of various living and working spaces by all the persons satisfying all the human factors and body sizes.

With the use of these basic assumptions of universal design, the floor plan for the buildings are designed and appliances, fittings, and furnishings are selected in compliance with the following  seven principles of the modern truths of universal design namely:

Principle One: Equitable Use

This principle applies to all the design elements conceived in a construction or remodeling  of an existing structure. The equitable use principle aims to provide the full utility of the living or working space for people with diverse abilities.

The primary use of this equitable use concept is to help all users to use the space in the same way, or as close as possible.

By using the equitable use principle of universal design, there is no segregation or stigmatization of users based on their body sizes. Even the wheelchair users are provided with the right types of factors and ergonomics for the convenient use of the spaces.

This concept also aims to provide the right levels of privacy, safety, and security equally to all the users of the building or the space that is designed as per these rules of universal design. Yet another requirement of the equitable use of the spaces is that the design of the space is done in such a way that the disability act is duly taken care of and is appealing to all types of users.

Principle Two: Flexibility in Use

Another important principle of universal design is the flexibility and that it is geared towards the accommodation of various design processes out of the universal design handbook to satisfy every individual preference and the abilities.  It paves the way for the selection of the right choice in user methods and enables the installation of the required design elements that accommodate the right or left-handed use of the persons at all the spaces that have these dependable technologies in use.

The disability in the user is overcome by the use of the institutional access helping the user to get the perfect accuracy and precision of the persons who need special care using their living and working spaces.   The center for universal design has taken every care to make the universal design adaptable by every user.

Principle Three: Simple and Intuitive Use

Another strong point of the basis of universal design is the simple and intuitive use of spaces. It is offering the best chance of understanding the real meanings of the use of usable technology making the users understand the purpose of the design. This is irrespective of the experience, language skills, knowledge or concentration level of the user thereby helping in the elimination of the avoidable complexity in the design and its execution.

It is now possible to satisfy the needs of a wider range of language skills and literacy levels while undertaking the design research and giving shape to the design process. This unique process proceeds in such a way to get real feedback from the users both during and after the completion of the design-related tasks.

Principle Four: Perceptible Information

Another perceived strength of the universal design is its ability to impart perceptible information to the user irrespective of his sensory abilities and the ambient conditions in which he uses the new design features.

The concept of the universal design promotes the use of pictorial, verbal and tactile modes of communication to present the required information to the users. Sufficient contrasts separate the surroundings from the essential information meant for the users ensuring good legibility.

This type of assistive technology in the universal design is compatible with all types of techniques helping those with sensory disabilities to effectively use the design features without any difficulty.

Principle Five: Tolerance for Error

The concept of the universal design drastically brings down the negative consequences of unintended and accidental actions by properly arranging the design elements in the order of their use. Depending on the frequency of use as most accessible; eliminated, hazardous elements, isolated, or shielded.

They are provided with proper warnings as to the hazards. Using the right types of usable technologies, discouraging the unintended actions.

Principle Six: Low Physical Effort

Another important aspect of the basis of universal design, is the use of low physical effort in the usage of the designed space with minimum fatigue. This is designed in such a way that the user can help those with the disability, and can maintain a neutral body position with the use of very reasonable operating forces.

Through the right research methods, repetitive action is avoided by the user body so that space can be used with minimized physical effort.

Principle Seven: Size and Space for Approach and Use

The principles of universal design concentrate more on the comfort of the user with the provision of the right size and space for comfortable approach, manipulation, and effective use of the space. Regardless of the degree of mobility, the type of posture or the body size of the user.

These universal design elements also make use of the required assistive technology to provide good visibility to the important elements of whether the user is viewing them while sitting or standing.

Suitable changes to the design are also made to accommodate the range of variations that are possible in the size of the hand and the gripping ability of the users.

Emerging assistive technologies and the modern universal design background, can provide uniform design specifications for making the living and working space of the people more user-friendly. Persons with disabilities use them without any difficulty.

By using these foundations of universal design, it is possible to take care of the needs of various disability acts so that every one of the users can enjoy the fruits of the universal design.

What is Inclusive Design?

Inclusive Design puts individuals at the beginning of each design. Every person has strengths and weaknesses, and utilizing inclusive design creates benefits globally. Age, disabilities and gender used to have limits on functioning in diverse conditions, but now are able to live in inclusive settings.

Why is inclusive design important?

We all benefit universally from conditions that embrace all peoples. Whether we are old or young, disabled or have complete mobility, it is important to provide a design that all people can feel comfortable and not live in limiting environments. These inclusive designs create settings that make sure that as many individuals as possible can utilize tools or environments equally, and allow diversity to be alive while living together.

What is the difference between inclusive design and universal design?

Accessibility is a positive, while inclusive design is a method. Inclusive designs make day to day tasks easier through the implementation of accessibility. We want to make walking easier for everyone, so we install sidewalks instead of dirt paths.

Universal design focuses on products that we use daily, and then we make them so a person with no limitations…and a person with a limitation can use them universally. An example of a universal design product is a levered handle. We can all open a levered door handle on a door because it has a larger handle, compared to a door knob that has limitations due to arthritis or other ailments. A faucet with 2 knobs is difficult to control and use compared to a single levered faucet. Individuals with disabilities live in your neighborhood, and sometimes even in our family. We need to be learning UDL so that we can help make their complicated and difficult life easier.

What is an example of Universal Design?

There are many products that each of use every single day at home and in the office, but we are not aware of it. Each of us walk through a door and do not notice if the device that opened the latch was a door knob, or a levered style handle. You have just used your first universal designed product without knowing.

Once you get to your office, you slide your office chair under a desk. The desk may or may not be designed for accessibility. How would you know? There are ADA guidelines that give specific measurements to height and depth for desks and tables. You may not even know if your desk is compliant unless you measure the opening.

Another example comes in the form of our communication technologies. Using a phone headset that sits on your head is easier than holding the 8″ receiver and cord that we used to use…and some offices still use.

All of us would agree that caring for each others needs should be taken care of at home, with transportation and at any business. If you enjoyed a snow trip with the family next weekend and broke your legs on the slope, then you would appreciate that your company implemented universal design throughout the business. Just because we do not have a limitation today, does not mean that next week you will not have accessibility concerns. Each person carries some form of limitations.

The next time that your house, or office, is considering a re-design, communicate your new knowledge about how to design the space, new technologies and processes that will accommodate all people, and include others in a safer environment.

We need to provide anyone with disabilities that come in the form of mental or physical limitations to perform one or more tasks. Age, size, physical, sensory and intellectual abilities all apply to accessibility.

Universal Design allow us to work safely and remain productive with tools, our workplace environment, work process, communication technologies, emergency procedures, HR policies and information. How do we interpret and analyze the companies work policies, safety and accommodations to complete the tasks that we are given. How about the work environment that we work in? Are the company tools, computers, furniture and safety equipment usable for all employees?

Consider making changes and updating your office for not only your employees, but also any guests or clients that come into your place of business. The first item on your list should be safety. Make sure that all EXIT signs, fire extinguishers and smoke detectors are clearly marked and inform your employees where they are located. Make sure that each person is notified ‘how’ they will be alerted. Will the device be auditory, visual or vibration. Confirm to the staff that all Safety Equipment is up to date, routinely checked, location of safety procedure book and anything else that your region may deem important, such as Tsunami or Earthquake procedures.

How safe do you feel inside of your business? This is called your inclusive environment. Does your inclusive design and environmental surroundings have adequate hallway widths for wheelchairs or walkers, are there any stairs that cause limitations to access, are there electrical cords that clutter a hallway or office, is your lighting more than adequate to produce safe escape routes, are there noises from equipment that cause irritation or limitations.

Once you are inside your building, notice how accessible the signage is to escape routes, bathrooms, elevators and more. Where are the light switches? Any system or control device should be clearly marked and have an assigned employee or service that maintains those systems. Make sure that all levers, door handles, faucets or doors are properly maintained and upkept.

When you are in your office, notice some of the limitations and accessibility of your staff. Do they have proper sized and adjustable chairs that fit their bodies needs. Are desks raised or lowered to fit the persons body size. Make sure that computers have their keyboard, mouse and monitor at correct heights and placements.

Does your staff have appropriate storage at their workstation? Make sure that any storage is safe and that any ladders or step stools are adequate and safe.

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