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Improving Home Accessibility

How to improve home accessibility for the physically disabled and elderly

by Nicole Evans

The ability to provide an obstacle-free home environment for the physically challenged person is becoming an increasingly important issue. 37.7 million individuals in the United States have physical limitations and this number is sky-rocketing as the Baby Boomer generation edges its way into old age. More and more individuals are experiencing the frustration of functioning in a society built for the physically able: amputees who can't make it up a ramp that is too steep, arthritis sufferers who can't turn the bathroom faucet, trauma survivors who arrive home to find they can't fit their wheelchair through the front door.

The American Disability Act, or ADA, was passed several years ago in order to

address the many difficulties that handicapped or disabled individuals face.

Supposedly, a building contractor can follow the specifications outlined in the

ADA in order to construct an environment that is completely accessible to the disabled person. However, the ADA guidelines are far from perfect.

What seem like the smallest of things can make life terribly difficult for a handicapped individual. For example, read this testimony (shared with permission) from a customer of MEDAccess, Inc., a company that addresses accessibility by offering individualized on-site assessments of environmental obstacles:

"Our home was built and finished in November of 2005. We did have it built to ADA specifications; we were planning for the future and the special needs of elderly living. However, when I became an amputee a year later, we discovered that ADA specifications were incredibly insufficient.

My wheelchair barely squeezes through thirty-six inch doors, and common thresholds present barriers for me. It is difficult to turn around in hallways and foyers. A small lip from my driveway into the garage was insurmountable via my wheelchair and I needed a ramp to enter my house up a four inch step in my garage."

The company that helped this physically challenged individual overcome the limitations of his environment is providing a much needed service. Ideally this service, improving home accessibility for the physically challenged and elderly, should be available throughout the United States. Unfortunately, companies like MEDAccess, Inc. that provide on-site assessments that adhere to real life practical experience, rather than the flawed ADA specifications, are few and far between.

You can contact MEDAccess, Inc. at (828) 264-4085 or www.medaccessinc.com

Thanks Nicole Evans


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