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Accessible House Ideas - Help, Please!

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    #16
    Originally posted by Tiger Racing
    I thought remote controls would be better than pull chains. Am I wrong about that? I thought that a pull chain that was long enough to be reachable by a child, little person or someone sitting in a chair would actually be in the way of people walking through the room.
    I have long pull chains in my living room and dining room. They are in the way of people walking through the room even though I have metal cutouts haging from them which should make them more visible. I wouldn't suggest having long pull chains unless you are slightly sadistic (like me) and enjoy watching your friends forget to dodge the chains and getting hit in the head. lol
    ~Kristi
    T7 MVA 9/12/04

    Life is just a collection of memories. - C.W. McCall Aurora Borealis

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      #17
      Originally posted by wheeliecoach
      I used to coach visually impaired people...and the one thing you want to make certain of is that you do not have anything "in the way". What I mean by this is that if you have an open floor plan, which it sounds like you may have, you do not want to have a load bracer in the middle of the room.
      That's logical. We removed one "decorative" wall that blocked the front door from the living room. I'm trying to figure out a layout for the furniture that will fit what we already own, but will leave plenty of room for a wheelchair to move through and doesn't block obvious walkways for people with impaired vision.

      Any appliance that has buttons on it (dishwasher, etc) may be difficult if the buttons are not raised. If they cannot feel the outline of the buttons, they will not necessarily know which one they are pushing.
      Crap. This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. Neither my husband nor I had thought of this. We'll have to look at the appliances we already bought and will definitely use this info in deciding on the other appliances.

      If I think of other things, I will let you know.
      Please do! Much appreciated.

      C.

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by doingtimeonmyass
        A service dog on the premises that also acts as a security system.
        Oh, we already have one of those. Well, kind of. I always know when someone is approaching the house because my cat, True, runs under the bed. She's a feral baby and is still extremely skittish.

        In 2005 I had built and it was a pretty nerve-racking process.
        What a PITA, eh? I'm going to hate this house before we ever get a chance to move in. The number of decisions that have to be made is mind boggling. Everything from major stuff like roof materials and garage doors, to minor stuff like switchplates and base boards. Who knew that there were different base board designs??

        One of the things I wish I would have done differently was make a larger master bathroom and closet for all my medical supply crap.
        Plenty of accessible storage space was important to me, too. In fact, I just finalized the layout of the cabinetry in the bathroom today. It's all built in and there is a nice, big cabinet that is within reach of the toilet, so that nothing is sitting out and visible that doesn't need to be. It's not a huge bathroom, but I believe it's plenty big enough for even a power wheelchair to move around. At least, I hope so. The truth is, we didn't have space to make the new bathroom and bedroom addition any bigger than it is. We were limited by the existing layout of the house.

        How about an intercom system at the front door?
        Hey! That's another good idea. Somebody's gotta make an intercom that has a hand held piece that can be taken from room to room. I can't tell you how many packages I've missed because I didn't get to the front door fast enough when the mail carrier rang the bell. We finally left a note for her saying that I use a wheelchair and she needs to give me more than 30 seconds to get off the couch or get to the door from another room!

        C.

        Comment


          #19
          TR,

          My SO is blind now as a result of our injuries. We had issues with putting things where I could reach but not bonk him in the head. That's just creativity.

          For the blind, you need places for things to live permanently. So they're always in EXACTLY the same place everytime they are searched for. We added baskets in the cupboards to keep certain things together.

          We have a talking thermostat. http://www.enablemart.com/productdet...d=1412&dept=23

          On the appliances, we've put Lock Dots, little raised dots, that serve as anchor points for him to find all the other buttons. Most of our appliances talk or give audio feedback of some sort so he knows they have received his commands.

          textual cues on the floor help him know where he is too. a change from tile to carpet. A small raised border that doesn't create problems for my chair. ETC.

          We have space in both the bedroom and Kitchen for his labeling equipment (small really but it needs a home in both places) and a spot for his cane, backpack, GPS etc. everything important to him has to go in the same place every time. That's the milk and mustard, etc in the frig, the spices in the cabinet, clothes, razor, etc.

          Thats the big challenge to day-to-day life with a visual impairment.
          My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

          Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

          "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

          Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by Tiger Racing
            Hey! That's another good idea. Somebody's gotta make an intercom that has a hand held piece that can be taken from room to room. I can't tell you how many packages I've missed because I didn't get to the front door fast enough when the mail carrier rang the bell. We finally left a note for her saying that I use a wheelchair and she needs to give me more than 30 seconds to get off the couch or get to the door from another room!

            C.
            Here you go. An intercom that will ring your telephone. If you have one of these and a cordless phone, you'll be able to take it anywhere in the house.
            http://www.smarthome.com/5070ca.html

            If you Google "doorbell telephone intercom" even more stuff should come up that's similar.

            Comment


              #21
              Originally posted by amarillogal
              Sounds like you've done a pretty good job.
              Thanx! We're trying. It was really important to me to at least try to think beyond my own, current needs. I figured if we were going to be doing all this work and spend all this money anyway, why not try to end up with something that functions well for the widest range of people? Depending on how long we live in the house, my own needs may change and we'll be happy we did some things, but I also think that it can only add to the value of the house or at least make it appealing to a wider range of buyers when we go to sell it.

              I also had a house built and I really wish that I had used casement windows in my house instead of regular, double hung windows because casement windows have a lever crank on them to open and close the window.
              We have both. It was a compromise decision between how we wanted the how house to look (we preferred the double hung windows for that) and what we thought would be easiest to open and close (the casement windows with the lever cranks). So the front rooms and the master bedroom have both kinds of windows.

              This is a bad picture, but it shows some of windows in one of the front rooms.

              Comment


                #22
                Another couple of things that came to mind. In the backyard I have sound cues. a fountian in one place, a wind chime in another, so he never gets twisted and loses his orientation out back.

                I have a little bell out front with a remote button he carries in his pocket so he can ring it from the sidewalk to make sure he's at our house.

                accomodations for a service animal are a must. We have a doggie door and several "safe" areas for his future dog to rest so I won't run over it's tail or something. we put in a raised bib for the hose so it can be reached easier. (He has severe head pain when he bends)
                My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

                Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

                "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

                Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by doingtimeonmyass
                  An intercom that will ring your telephone. If you have one of these and a cordless phone, you'll be able to take it anywhere in the house.
                  Hey, that is cool! Thank you!

                  C.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Good luck with your new house.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      /forum/showthread.php?t=65648&page=2

                      here's the thread to all the pictures of my house after it was remodeled.

                      i wish i had one of those intercom things!
                      Never take life seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway

                      Frank's blog:
                      http://www.franktalk-scurry.blogspot.com
                      My regular blog:
                      http://www.ithinkithinktoomuchblog.blogspot.com

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Oh, another one more thing. We worked with the local Fire Department and put in their approved key vault. In case of an emergency, they can get in without busting down the door
                        My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

                        Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

                        "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

                        Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Originally posted by cali
                          here's the thread to all the pictures of my house after it was remodeled.
                          Cool! I love the colour in the kitchen. What's your deck made of?

                          C.

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by JenJen
                            For the blind, you need places for things to live permanently. So they're always in EXACTLY the same place everytime they are searched for. We added baskets in the cupboards to keep certain things together.
                            That makes sense. I've known a few acquaintances who were visually impaired, but haven't had any close friends that had trouble seeing. My mother has glaucoma and her eyesight is dimishing though. This is something I want to keep in mind.

                            We have a talking thermostat.
                            It's good to know those exist. The thermostat in our old condo was mounted so high on the wall, I could barely see it. There was a new one installed in the house we just bought shortly before we purchased it so we aren't planning on changing it. It's mounted very low on the wall.

                            On the appliances, we've put Lock Dots, little raised dots, that serve as anchor points for him to find all the other buttons.
                            Is that something that came with the appliances or is it something you printed out after the fact?

                            textual cues on the floor help him know where he is too. a change from tile to carpet. A small raised border that doesn't create problems for my chair.
                            Marble in the kitchen, hardwood floors in the main room and hallway, carpet in the master bedroom, tile in the bathrooms...

                            Like that?

                            Thats the big challenge to day-to-day life with a visual impairment.
                            Thanx for the info. This is exactly the kind of thing that one may not consider without living through it.

                            In the backyard I have sound cues. a fountian in one place, a wind chime in another, so he never gets twisted and loses his orientation out back.
                            OK. We plan on putting a fountain in the front yard and in the backyard. Windchimes are easily doable too.

                            I have a little bell out front with a remote button he carries in his pocket so he can ring it from the sidewalk to make sure he's at our house.

                            accomodations for a service animal are a must.
                            Very interesting info. We will keep this in mind as well.

                            We worked with the local Fire Department and put in their approved key vault. In case of an emergency, they can get in without busting down the door
                            I don't think I know what this means.

                            C.

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by Tiger Racing
                              Cool! I love the colour in the kitchen. What's your deck made of?

                              C.
                              thanks, the deck is just pressure treated wood
                              Never take life seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway

                              Frank's blog:
                              http://www.franktalk-scurry.blogspot.com
                              My regular blog:
                              http://www.ithinkithinktoomuchblog.blogspot.com

                              Comment


                                #30
                                TR,

                                Lock dots (tactile locator dots) are clear raised dots that resemble texturally the little bumpers on you cabinet doors to keep them from slamming too hard. I tried to find a pic online but I was unsuccessful. I get sheets of them from the Center for the Blind locally. You can contact them as a resource for the dots. They'll probably give them to you or charge you a couple bucks for the sheet. I put them on the 5 button on keypads. I have one on the start button, etc... Sadly, they do not come with the appliances and you can’t print them. I suppose you could create them with caulk or hot melt glue but they would probably fall off periodically.

                                Your flooring choices should help a visually impaired person find their way, especially if the sound changes with the material change.

                                In the back yard I have 6 bumpy spots spaced along the walk so my SO can count to know how close he is to the gate and garbage cans.

                                The talking thermostat has been great for me too b/c I didn't want to put another hole (albeit small) in the wall to lower it. In my last place, I couldn’t reach the thermostat either.

                                The key vault... Contact your local FD. Ask them if they have an emergency entry program. I have a special little lock box near my front door that only the FD can (supposedly) open. If I need emergency assistance, PFD won’t have to kick in the door. Each municipality has their own system to handle this. Further to this, I have a 911 premise alert so that if the PD or FD show up here for any reason, they know that 2 disabled people live here, 1 blind and 1 para. Plus, it’s good to know if your municipality assists with changing smoke detector batteries, etc and how that program works. I have not figured out a way to be independent in smoke detector maintenance or changing light bulbs. J

                                For my convenience, I put in a raceway all the way around the backyard with a material called quarter minus; a fine gravel that, once settled and watered, hardens like concrete. Makes the back yard so much more friendly to my chair. I have raised beds coming so that I can return to gardening soon.

                                Hope you get much enjoyment from your home.
                                My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

                                Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

                                "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

                                Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

                                Comment

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