SPARC BC's Accessibility Tip # 100: Housing that works for everyone

Welcome signWhile great strides have been made in creating accessible public spaces, there is a shortage of even minimally accessible private housing in Canada for people who want to “age in place” or who have reduced mobility. Newly constructed homes often contain the same major barriers as older, existing homes: steps at every entrance, narrow interior doors – with the bathroom door usually the narrowest door in the house!

While The National Building Code of Canada is concerned mainly with commercial properties and multi-family dwellings, many of its requirements are becoming more and more popular for single family residences, especially as the population ages. The words “accessibility” and “visitability” have a lot in common.

The visibility movement offers three key features to ensure that everyone, regardless of mobility, will be able to at least visit, use the washroom and exit the home: a zero step entrance at the front, back or side entrance; wider doorways on all main floors; and a half or full bath on the main floor. Other opportunities exist to enhance the visitability of a new residence. These include locating the bedroom(s) on the main level of a multi-level structure; locating the laundry on the main level; access to and ample space within the kitchen; and customizable designs to allow buyers the flexibility to alter homes for their best use. Visitability can be integrated into the home at the design phase of a new home to increase your options as your family’s needs change over time.

The building of accessible and visitable housing provides the opportunity for seniors and others with disabilities to remain living independently in their own homes and community.

For further information, please read the article retrieved from Accessibility News at http://www.accessibilitynews.ca/?p=1393.

Have a suggestion for an Accessibility 100 tip? Email klai@sparc.bc.ca

UBC Chronic Pain Needs Assessment Survey

Rock face - YosemiteThe Canadian Institute for Relief of Pain and Disability (CIRPD) is collaborating with partners at the University of British Columbia to promote the Chronic Pain Needs Assessment Survey. They are seeking input from people with chronic or persistent pain. By completing this online survey you can help define the tools and information most urgently needed by people suffering from chronic pain. The survey takes approximately 20-25 minutes to finish. If you have not already participated, we encourage you to do so and help shape the tools and resources available in future.

Over 200 Canadians have already responded. Join the conversation and let researchers, organizations and health professionals know what resources you need for your pain management!

Take the survey and pass the link on to others who suffer from pain as well: http://www.cirpd.org/GetInvolved/PainSurvey/Pages/CIRPDSurvey-org.aspx . Thank you!

More Resources Available on Emergency Preparedness

cover of prepare to help Every organization should be prepared for an emergency but are you? Through our partnership with Volunteer Canada, we have trained 20 trainers from disability organizations and volunteer centres to deliver our community training in emergency planning for people with disabilities.

The training manual we created, Prepare to Survive – Prepare to Help, is full of exercises and resources for community groups who want to play a role in emergency planning and response in their communities.

Now, PowerPoint presentations have been prepared to help trainers use the manual.

Visit our Library/Emergency Preparedness page, and  click on the Community Organizations section at the top of the page. You will see all the Prepare To Survive resources there, including videos.