The Importance of Handicap Accessibility
Living with a disability can make the world sometimes (and sometimes often) difficult to navigate. Take for instance handicap bathroom requirements as one example. Not all bathrooms will meet handicap bathroom requirements, which can make something as simple as needing to use the bathroom a problem for a handicapped person. Having a handicap can make life difficult, but only when the world is not as accommodating as it should be.
Having a disability is not uncommon anywhere in the United States. In fact, with more than fifty million people in the United States currently dealing with some type of disability, it is the opposite of uncommon. Disabilities come in a range, as does everything else, from minor to severe. Some people who deal with minor disabilities will require no accommodations outside of the home and do not use to need devices like handicap ramps or a mobility scooter in a large store like a grocery store. In fact, the most common types of disability in the United States is linked to limited mobility, but limited mobility does not necessarily equate the need for accommodations outside of the home.
But the fact of the matter is, many need accommodations outside of the home, such as power wheelchair ramps. For the nearly seven million adults in the United States that use mobility aids such as wheelchairs and walkers and utilize power wheelchair ramps, it is important that spaces accommodate those devices. For instance, a bathroom should always be wide enough to accommodate a mobility aid and when there are stairs, there should be an elevator somewhere on the premises. Mobility ramps are also crucial to accessibility, both for wheelchair users (the primary target for power wheelchair ramps) and those who use other mobility aids, such as a walker or even a mobility scooter. Outdoor wheelchair access is also important, as it is important to remember that wheelchair users come from all different backgrounds and all different demographics. A wheelchair user could be a soccer mom, for instance, but it is likely that it is difficult for her to independently get onto a field to see her child’s soccer games. This is just one instance where outdoor accessibility to those who use mobility aids could be significantly improved.
Older adults are another demographic that typically need accommodations like a stair lift or power wheelchair ramps, as many older adults are likely to use mobility aids like canes or walkers to prevent a dangerous fall. As at least half of all severe falls among the elder population take place at home, mobility within the home is just as important as mobility outside of it, including power wheelchair ramps and stairs (where a stair lift or power wheelchair ramps could be helpful). Handicap bathroom requirements can be applied to any home setting as well – and should be, as more than two hundred thousand people are injured in a bathroom every single year in the United States alone. Aside from bathroom accessibility and safety, platform lifts for homes are often useful in restoring independence to many seniors who use mobility aids. An outdoor stair lift as well as a lift chair recliner can make moving about a multi level house feasible for a senior citizen living alone. This can be ideal, as it often means that the senior does not need to move out of their home just because their mobility has become limited. As a senior citizen is treated for fall related injuries in an emergency room every eleven seconds, it’s important to note that many of these mobility aids like a stair lift can work towards preventing serious injury and even death among senior citizens and those with limited mobility who are more likely to become injured at home.
Both in the home and outside of it, it is important that handicap bathroom requirements are met. Handicap bathroom requirements may seem like a small thing to implement, but they can have a big impact, changing the way that handicapped people can operate independently in the outside world. The implementation of handicap bathroom requirements can reduce the risk of serious injury and allow the elderly population to remain independent and living alone for much longer than they would be able to otherwise.