Beyond the WheelchairBy Petito, Cindi; Rehab Management,
Publication Date: July 2011
Article discusses home modifications to improve accessibility for wheelchair users. Measuring the home environment is part of the process of measuring an individual for a wheelchair and included in the assessment prior to making final recommendations. The following home modifications are discussed: (1) ramps, which can be constructed from wood, concrete, steel, or aluminum, depending on the indoor or outdoor environment, and must meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) design standards of a maximum slope of 1:12, that is 12 inches of ramp for every 1 inch of rise; and vertical lifts, which are an option when space is limited; (2) doorways, which according to ADA standards should have a clear width of 32 inches, not counting the space taken up by standard door hinges; swing clear door hinges can be installed to increase the clear width, or a building contractor will need to install wider doors; (3) bathroom modifications, including floor space with a 5 foot by 5 foot turning radius, horizontal grab bars around the toilet, a recessed roll-in shower with a water dam made of collapsible soft vinyl, and sink and countertop heights adjusted to allow for knee clearance; (4) kitchen modifications, including functional height cabinets, knee space beneath countertops, a recess near the baseboards for toes and kick plates, and ensuring there is a 5 foot by 5 foot turning radius; and (5) stair lifts, which require a minimum stairway width of 36 inches to be accommodated, and incline wheelchair lifts as an alternative for persons who cannot safely transfer to a stair lift seat.
Published by: Ascend Media LLC (Website:http://www.ascendmedia.com)
Link to text: http://www.rehabpub.com/issues/articles/2011-07_01.asp