Adaptations. They can help make our lives easier and sometimes allow us to experience things we may have otherwise been able to.
Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, some accommodations have become an everyday reality (i.e. employers need to consider reasonable accommodations for a person with a disability to perform a job or providing means for organizations like Voc Rehab or other government agencies to provide help for adaptive equipment) and sometimes we just have to get plain creative in order to make our environments work for us!
Here's some ways the hubby and I have made our lives adaptable to help make things just a little bit easier in our home and our lives:
1. "The Reacher." You can pick these up at any local hardware store. They are usually a long pole with two "clamps" on the end that clasp together and release when the handle at the other end of the pole is squeezed. This makes it awesome for reaching stuff off high shelves and putting groceries away from our wheelchairs. Also handy for reaching clothes and that sock that always wriggles its way into the far reaching corners of the washing machine. We use our reacher almost every day.
2. We asked our employer to lower our workstations at our jobs to accommodate our wheelchairs. Don't be afraid to ask for things like this at work. You want to be comfortable in order to perform your job well.
3. Low hanging clothes racks. Our home came with closets even too tall for my 6 foot father to reach, so my trusty dad designed a long hanging clothes rack which is basically a bar with two long reaching arms on each end that clasp around the existing clothes rack, making it easy to hang clothes at a height we can reach.
4. Custom seat cushions. Our local hardware store carries an amazing selection of foam filling. I picked up several square pieces of foam in various densities and covered them with fun upholstery to use at our dining table and even in my wheelchair to give my short frame a boost.
5. Footstools. This is an easy one – I keep one in almost every room in the house for washing dishes or reaching the sinks in the bathroom.
6. For details on how we adapted our vehicle, check out my former post "On the Road to Driving."
7. Our wish list for future adaptations: front loader washers and dryers!
So how do you adapt? Share some of your favorite adaptations in the comments!