Sunday, April 6, 2008

The View from Down Here

Being that I am experiencing the world from the viewpoint of a temporarily disabled person, this gives me new insights to an old area of interest in design for disability.

Suggestions for the rented wheels, that is wheelchairs or electric scooters in malls and stores:
  • Add a location to clip on or rest crutches or a cane. There are no good ways to carry them while you are maneuvering about.
  • In addition to the mobile cart, rent out a grab stick. Though I know this from being a relatively short person, it's even more apparent when you are seated ALL the time, the world is designed for standing tall people! A grab stick at the grocery store while using the wheeled cart would be an excellent addition to the experience.
  • I'm putting this one in the public domain and hoping someone acts on it: collapsible crutches. They are tall when you need them, but telescope in for when you are riding in a car, wheelchair or just sitting at home and don't want the entire world tripping on them.
    • a quick web search shows that I am not the first to think of this - no surprise - but most models are hard to come by. One seemingly useful, albeit spendy option: http://www.gearability.com/2007/07/31/collapsible-travel-crutches/
  • Make wheelchairs fun! The kids all get to ride in these cute, colorful molded plastic cars, they are having fun and people look at them and smile. Wheelchairs are incredibly utilitarian, and people mostly avoid looking at you if you are in one, or look with pity. Make wheeled devices for adults more desirable.

1 comment:

owlmonkey said...

i was at hopworks last night, and noticed they had gone out of their way to include a step to reach the main entrance, in spite of a long enough entry way to make a simple gradual slope.

once inside there were ample seats for people in wheel chairs, but to enter one would need a side entrance.

perhaps create an online directory that takes google listings and mashes them up with user contributed ratings and notes concerning accessibility? maybe this already exists even...