Monthly Archives: February 2012

Wheelchair Accessible Residence by Juliana Santana

Image: {a href="" target="_blank"}Haruo Mikami{/a} Via {a href="" target="_blank"}Casa de Valentina{/a}

Modern and chic are words that easily describe this wheelchair accessible residence by Brazilian architect Juliana Santana. In preparation for the 2011 Casa Cor Brasilia, a large architectural event in Brazil, she decided to design a residential space for those with disabilities. I first saw this space while browsing Dwelling Gawker which is a great place to view beautiful and innovative architecture and interior design. That led me to an article in Casa de Valentino; here is a little more on what they say about the space (the article was in Portuguese and translated through Google Translate):

Designed to meet the needs of a young athlete, joyful and attuned to the urban trends, the project brings together renowned international design pieces as well as contemporary works of art. The architecture is simple and straight lines, serves as background for this selection of furniture and relaxed.

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Bad Design Style: Case #1

Fail Blog Ramp

Image: {a href="" target="_blank"}Fail Blog{/a}

I’m pretty sure all of us have come across places that have made “attempts” at universal design but failed miserably. Whether it be accessible parking spaces that are incorrect, overly steep ramps, dangerous ramps, tight spaces, etc. Unfortunately despite ADA and other regulations, these barriers are still all too common. Which is why I decided to add another category to my blog, Bad Design Style. Here I’ll showcase examples of universal design gone awry. Along the way we can learn from mistakes and maybe at least have a few good laughs at ineptitude. Starting with the “ramp” pictured above from Fail Blog.

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Dornbracht Horizontal Shower | Potential Accessible Shower

Dornbracht Horizontal Shower

Image: {a href="" target="_blank"}Dornbracht{/a} Via {a href="" target="_blank"}Gizmodo{/a}

Ever wonder what a shower would be like in a lying down position? Admittedly I never have until I saw this concept horizontal shower by  Dornbracht, a German company that creates high end bathroom and kitchen products. Obviously most of us take showers in a standing or seated position. Many people with disabilities use the seated position. Though even with the use of hand held showers and body sprays, a full rinse may not always get accomplished while seated. However a horizontal shower could give a full rinse. The Dornbracht horizontal shower consists of a marbled horizontal surface for lying down on and another marbled horizontal block above that has six water jets that rain down along the length of the body.

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iPad Voting for People with Disabilities

ipad Voting

Image: {a href="" target="_blank"}KEZI{/a}

As you know this is an election year (in the US) and everyone who can vote should. Under ADA law, people with disabilities have the right to vote and be given an accessible means to vote. However this is not always the case whether it be an inaccessible building or voting ballots that are difficult to read for people with vision impairments. Recently the state of Oregon began using iPads in special elections to make voting more accessible for people with visual impairments or limited use of their hands.

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IZ Adaptive Clothing

Izzy Camilleri Adaptive Clothing

Image: {a href="" target="_blank"}IZ Adaptive Clothing{/a}

For many wheelchair users, the daily routine of getting dressed is one of those everyday things that can be a little more time consuming than for non-wheelchair users. Even with the help of a care taker, this can be a tedious task. Mainly because clothes really aren’t designed to be put on while sitting in a chair. Another problem is that clothing can ride up or is not made for a sitting position. Such as raincoats that can leave your lap open when sitting down. After working with a client who is a wheelchair user, Canadian fashion designer Izzy Camilleri worked on making a line of fashionable adaptive clothing. The result was IZ Adaptive Clothing.

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FabCab | Universal Design Prefab House

FabCab House

Image: {a href="" target="_blank"}FabCab{/a} Via {a href="" target="_blank"}Fast Company Co. Design{/a}

If you’re not familiar with prefab houses, then here is a brief description. They’re homes that are mostly constructed off site, then assembled onsite. This can be a great way to construct houses because they’re built in a controlled environment away from weather, and can be built quicker and cheaper. So then why not make a prefab house that’s also incorporates universal design? That is exactly what the people at FabCab thought and they decided to make some.

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Folding Universal Sliding Transfer Bench

Folding Universal Sliding Transfer Bench

Image: {a href="" target="_blank"}Drive Medical{/a}

At my work, which is a Center for Independent Living, we have a small equipment loan and rental program where tub transfer benches are one of the items we carry. I also design bathroom modifications for people with disabilities. So I’m pretty familiar with transfer benches and how they function. However in all my time there I’ve never come across a tub transfer bench like the one pictured above. The Folding Universal Sliding Transfer Bench by Drive Medical is a transfer bench where the seat slides back and forth.

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Balance Stick | Self Balancing Walking Cane

Balance Stick | Self Balancing Cane

Image: {a href="" target="_blank"}Feng,Cheng-Tsung{/a} Via {a href="" target="_blank"}Yanko Design{/a}

Balance Stick Self Balancing Cane

Image: {a href="" target="_blank"}Feng,Cheng-Tsung{/a}

Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down, and neither does the Balance Stick. A self balancing walking cane designed by Cheng-Tsung Feng & Yu-Ting Cheng of Taiwan. Most canes that people use are great when strolling along, but can be cumbersome and in the way when someone stops and needs to use both of their hands. Such as when stopping at a cash register and needing to pull out their wallet to pay. The person needs to lean the cane up against something, tuck it under their arm, or try to pay one handed! The Balance Stick makes these little every day moments easier.

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