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5 Common Accessibility Fails

Nathan Colburn Education, Newsletter

Our team is invited into our client’s homes and into our communities to evaluate accessibility. During our evaluations, we often encounter modifications that do not meet ADA requirements, are unsafe or that were intended to be temporary but became permanent.

    1. Stairlift Not to the Floor – The purpose of a stairlift is to ensure that those with mobility challenges, unstable balance or difficulty with depth perception don’t have to navigate the stairs. However, in many homes, we see stairlifts that have been improperly installed. Stairlift NottoFloor |In this case, the stairlift does not reach the bottom of the stairs, meaning that the user has to try to exit the lift on the narrow stair or take a long, unsafe step down off the lift. Both of these scenarios pose an incredible risk to the user.
    2. A Ramp to Nowhere – Ramps are great to get out of the house and go, but when they don’t lead to a RamptoNowhere |wheelchair-friendly surface like concrete, they can lead to frustration. When in doubt about the best type of ramp for your situation or how to configure a ramp, talk with an accessibility professional who can explain the options, pro’s and con’s and help you choose the right ramp for your needs.
    3. Equipment Overkill – Finding the right solution is essential. Unfortunately, many of our clients find themselves in unfaIMG 2370 |miliar territory when it comes to accessibility equipment. As a result, we often see clients who have way more equipment or modifications than they need. Instead of offering the client a ramp solution, the other company sold them a wheelchair lift.
    4. Homemade Solutions – Adding a lawn chair to the shower is ok for one shower or two, but statistics show that the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the home. Increasing the risk of falls or slips by using equipment that is not intended to be using in areas where water is present or for support/accessibility purposes. IMG 1746 1 |

IMG 2934 1 |5. Don’t Grab That Bar – Suction cup grab bars are less than ideal, especially when they are intended to provide support and stability in the bathroom. Look closely, and you will see that this grab bar is stuck to a glass shower door. If the user were to fall and grab onto the grab bar, they could find themselves on the floor and covered in broken glass. Taking the time to have your grab bars professionally installed can help ensure that they are weight-bearing in case of a fall and that there are bars where you need them most. Many of our clients don’t think about areas for the placement of grab bars throughout their home.

Accessibility fails can happen to anyone, anywhere in their home. Avoid these common mistakes and let our team of accessibility experts provide you or a loved one with a free, in-home evaluation.