The Way To Ensure A Residence Is Totally Safe For People With A Disability

We know from the lat census that at least 50 off our countrymen and -women have a form of handicap. These disabilities vary in nature, but at least 2% of these people has difficulties moving in their own home. These are very significant numbers, which also means that housing has to be adapted in order to meet the needs of these people. Unfortunately, federal standards do not exist, although it is hoped they will soon be developed. The biggest problem with this is that there are currently no federal grants available to help people adapt their home. But what sort of things need doing to homes in order to make them accessible for handicapped people?

The first and most important thing is that all doorways and hallways are completely clear. This is due to the fact that there are a number of disability laws in place that focus specifically on wheelchair users. This is why doorways have to be at least 32 inches wide. Secondly, thresholds should be lower than one and a half inch, and they have to be rounded. Indeed, this is important not just for wheelchair users, but also those who use walkers or canes. A hallway should always be at least 36″ in width. It does require to be wider in some wheelchair users’ homes, particularly if there are any sharp turns. It is also important to look at the stairs, which also have to be accessible. Hence, the treads of stairs should be at least 11 inches. Installing a stair lift is recommended. As a bear minimum, hand rails should be placed on each side.

For those with walk-in closets, the recommendation is to install adjustable rods, so people have better storage options. The best types are pull-down rods. Handicap safe homes also do not have plush carpets. These can present a significant tripping hazard for those who can walk, and will make it much more difficult to maneuver a wheelchair. Therefore, when choosing carpets, the pile should be less than half an inch in height. Last but not least, the electrical workings of a home may need changing. This is why switches should all be placed at a height below 48 inches, where all outlets should be at least at 15 inches off the floor. With these adaptations, any home will be fully friendly to those with handicaps, including those in a wheelchair. Other options, such as walk-in bathtubs and handrails can also be added. However, these are generally required for more specific disabilities and hence vary on a case by case basis.