Whenever a family seeks to improve the quality of life for a wheelchair-bound family-member, that close-knit unit generally has three needs that must be satisfied. Each of those needs can be satisfied through the utilization of accessible design. The first such need relates to mobility issues.
Imagine having to live in a tiny room, one which made it difficult to move around. Well, that can easily be the condition of the living space occupied by someone who is in a wheelchair. A combination of close quarters and poorly-placed furniture can make it difficult to maneuver a set of wheels from place to place. In other words, mobility is lacking in a room with an inaccessible design plan.
Still, accessibility issues concern more than the amount of mobility enjoyed by someone who lives in a specific area. After all, it makes no sense, to arrange for movement, if that movement puts the moving individual in danger. Thus safety should also be considered, when seeking to determine the adequacy of any room design that is said to be accessible.
Finally, all accessible design ought to aid the effort to allow the wheel-chair bound man or woman to enjoy a greater level of independence. It is not enough that he or she can move-around with ease. That movement should be purposeful. It ought to be directed at performance of a certain task, namely one that can make a contribution to the family’s daily life, even if only to a minor degree. That would include desk-work, especially if such work is meant to lead to possession of a degree, or to the acquisition of money, in terms of compensation for a job completed.
Now, beyond all of these needs, there is also one item that most families want, when considering the installation of accessible designs. It's about style. A family’s enjoyment of a new design plan will be far greater if the designer of that plan has made a point of creating a stylish-looking room. While some may think this element is not needed, it will most certainly be most-appreciated and increase quality of life.
Image credit: CEFutcher