Many people don’t think much about the disabled amongst us who might have to spend a great deal of time in wheelchairs alone at home . When they venture out, many of them need the following:
A doctor’s waiting room that has been fitted out with chairs that have backrests as well as armrests, tables and chairs that are a different color from the rest of the room enabling them to stand out distinctly from the walls, thus accommodating a person whose sight is not good. While on a trip overseas I discovered a supermarket with devices for magnifying the labels on products thus making the lives of visually impaired people that much easier.
If magazines and official forms are placed on tables, it will grant easy access for people in wheelchairs.
There is a concept known as universal design which is perfect for any disabled person as his/her specific needs are taken into account during the planning stage of the interior of their house or apartment. The kitchen is cleverly designed to cater to their needs. The doors are sufficiently wide to accommodate a walker or a wheelchair if necessary. The shower cubicle is extra large with place for a water-resistant wheelchair, the floor tiles of the bathroom are non-slip and there are bars for the occupant to hold onto. Toilets are higher off the ground and care is taken so that the toilet paper roll is hung in an easily accessible place. Young architects and designers who have not yet developed set ideas are the ones to turn to if one is unable to handle the planning alone.
People who are disabled need access to theaters, cinemas, hotels, offices, public transportation, stores and places of recreation including beaches. They should be able to visit beauty spots around their country like the rest of us, but can only do so if paths are built to accomodate wheelchairs.
Then there are other disabilities with different requirements. People with severe speech difficulties, those who suffer blackouts; those people who have a deformity or disfigurement, people with a mental illness. Others with long-term effects of head injuries need a different kind of assistance. We should all be patient when dealing with them. They are as bright as, or often far brighter than the rest of us, but simply have communication skill problems.
There is also a stigma associated with many physical handicaps which is totally unneccessary. I would like to see that stigma disappear. Many of these people are smarter than we are, more polite then we are, far nicer and more patient than the rest of us, so how about accepting everyone as equal, making our world a far better place to live in?