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From Where I Sit A discussion on the challenges of accessibility Presented by Geoff Meyering © 2008 PowerPoint Presentation
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From Where I Sit A discussion on the challenges of accessibility Presented by Geoff Meyering © 2008 Hi, my name is Geoff Meyering. I was born with Cerebral Palsy and have spent most of my life in a wheelchair.

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slide1

From Where I Sit

A discussion on the challenges of accessibility

Presented by Geoff Meyering

© 2008

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

slide2

Hi, my name is Geoff Meyering.

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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I was born with Cerebral Palsy and have spent most of my life in a wheelchair.

I think of myself as a bit of an expert on issues relating to accessibility, since I experience both the best and the worst examples of this every day.

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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First, what does accessibility mean from the viewpoint of a person with restricted mobility?

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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In my life, it relates to literally everything.

  • My level of independence (or lack of it)
  • My personal safety
  • Whether or not I have choices in where I can live, work, shop, & have fun

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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In this presentation, I plan to talk about:

  • my background
  • the challenges I see which commonly restrict choices for people in wheelchairs
  • an overview of challenging areas
  • the trends to barrier-free buildings and communities in Alberta and other provinces

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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1 in every 8 Canadians is living with a disability. Like everyone, people with disabilities want to lead independent, healthy lives.

www.publichealth.gc.ca

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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Barrier free design refers to the creation of an environment that contains no structural or psychological features that might prevent a person of any ability level from using the environment to its full extent.

http://articles.directorym.ca/A_breakdown_of_simple_solutions_to_make_your_home_more_accessible_Alberta-r867910-Alberta.html

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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Where are the problem areas?

  • external access & ramps
  • interior spaces, doorways & hallways
  • kitchens & bathrooms

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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Options for creating accessible homes & public buildings can be challenging, and may be affected by factors such as:

  • Location
  • Is it new construction or adapting existing space?
  • Availability of specialized products & qualified trades people to install
  • Costs

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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External Accessibility & Ramps(OntarioBuilding Code)

Access Ramps must be constructed in consideration of the following critical specifications:

1) The minimum width between handrails must be 2’ - 10”

2) The maximum gradient or slope is 1:12. This means that the ramp must be 1’ long for every inch of rise

3) There must be a level area 5’ long and at least the same width of ramp at intervals of not more than 29’ - 6” as well as whenever there is an abrupt change in the ramp’s direction

4) There must be handrails set 3’ above the surface of the ramp on both sides of the ramp

http://www.bfconstruction.ca/barrier_free_access_ramps.htm

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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An existing local ramp which demonstrates some challenges:

  • metal surface can be icy in winter, and metal joints create ridges that are difficult to cross
  • directly under building overhang contributes to ice buildup
  • concrete barrier wall is too close to bottom of ramp to allow for a safe exit

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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Doorways and Thresholds

This doorway/threshold combination is impossible to access without assistance because of the high ridge across the lip and narrow corner

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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Adaptations for Independent Living

Bathrooms and kitchens can present some of the greatest challenges to living independently

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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A low threshold fiberglass shower that can be used as a replacement for an existing bathtub.http://www.bfconstruction.ca/bathrooms.htm

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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Accessible sink & vanity are made so that a wheelchair fits underneath to allow the individual to use the basin without assistance.

http://www.bfconstruction.ca/bathrooms.htm

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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Grab bars and handrails are available in standard or custom shapes and lengths in a variety of materials. Configuration and placement is a matter of personal preference and will depend on transfer requirements, layout of the space and consider left- or right-side dependent. http://www.bfconstruction.ca/barrier_free_home.htm

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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In my own home, I have several grab bars, poles, and handrails that have been adapted for my use.

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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Poles and grip bars allow me to complete much of my own care independently. I can get myself on and off the toilet, and in and out of bed, along with dressing myself, cooking, washing dishes and so on. This independence is a luxury that many people in wheelchairs are unable to experience.

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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Other resources for more information about incorporating barrier–free concepts for specific populations

Information used with permission from: http://www.bfconstruction.ca/barrier_free_home.htm

Some other sources used:

CMHCwww.cmhc-schl.gc.ca

City of Lethbridge Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP)

(403) 320-3837

Province of Ontariohttp://www.accessibilitydirectory.ca/

Presidents Choice http://www.presidentschoice.ca/ChildrensCharity/HowToApply.aspx

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge

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Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts and experiences with you today

Canadian Home Builders Association of Lethbridge