Accessibility does not end at ramps and if you don’t know someone with a physical disability you may be thinking “my home is pretty accessible.” Your home may be less accessible than you realize because unless you live with someone who is physically disabled you may not fully understand some of the accommodations they may need! Here are a few examples of how your home may not be accommodating the disabled and how you can fix it!
Entryways– Do you have a relative that is a wheelchair user? Where do you hang out when they come over? Are they able to come over? If they can’t come over is it because they can’t get into your home? Getting into a house is a challenge when you are a wheelchair user but it can be a little bit easier just by getting a ramp so the wheelchair user can go in and out of your home with ease! Although some ramps are very difficult to go up and down they give wheelchair users the ability to go into their homes without assistance!
Slip hazards- People with physical disabilities fall more easily so when you have them over be mindful of that! If you drop something, pick it up! Most of my falls happen in the shower so it is always helpful when someone dries the floor after they take a shower! I personally don’t like to be the last person to take a shower because that is when it is the wettest and the chances of me falling are much higher than it would be if I took a shower first! Rugs and handles will help with preventing falls but in all honesty, you can’t prevent every fall! Scoping out the bathroom will also help to see if it will work for you as well as preventing falls! If you do fall don’t be embarrassed to ask for help it happens to everybody!
Air-conditioning- Ceiling Fans can sometimes be next to impossible to turn on or off so unless there is an accessible switch you may have to ask for help! My room does not have an accessible switch for the ceiling fan and most of the time I have to ask for help! You adapt what you can but at the end of the day, you have to accept there are some things you aren’t going to be able to do! In these situations, you ask for help and don’t be embarrassed about it!
Kitchen cabinets– Do you struggle to get coffee cups? Are you hungry all the time because snacks are inaccessible? Not being able to reach everything that an abled person can is frustrating but out of your control. Struggling to get coffee cups and snacks is a daily struggle for me so that is why I put as many things I can on lower shelves! Some things like snacks are sometimes put out of my reach but if I really wanted them all I have to do is ask!
If you do not know someone who is disabled you do not need to make your home disability friendly! If you do and interact with them frequently making a minor few adjustments may make them less stressed when they come over! Inaccessibility is what will make the person with the physical disability not want to come over and a minor few adjustments can make all the difference in the world! If they do not live with you making your home one-hundred percent disability-friendly is not necessary just a few things for when they visit! If you have any questions about how you can make your home disability friendly please leave them in the comments below.