If you or someone you know lives with a disability, you might find the ThisAbles Project to be good news, and extremely interesting, as well as uplifting. Most importantly, these ideas will help you increase the accessibility of your home to all guests.
I really can’t do better than quote the ThisAbles website, to explain what it is all about.
As part of IKEA’s vision to “create a better everyday life for as many people as possible”, we joined forces with the non-profit organizations Milbat and Access Israel, that specialize in creating special solutions for populations with special needs and disabilities, and developed a new and revolutionary line of products that bridge some of the gaps between existing IKEA products and the special needs of people belonging to these populations…[Some of the] products…can even be printed independently in a 3D printer based on models that we have made available to the general public.
Now, check out the various YouTube links below to see for yourself some ingenious adaptations that make existing IKEA products accessible to those with various disabilities. The only thing I would think to add is that the ideas demonstrated in these videos could surely be adapted to non-IKEA products with a little ingenuity. Happy viewing.
1. Easy Handle
This easily attachable handle allows a young man with cerebral palsy to open a cabinet which otherwise has no handle. As with many ThisAble devices, this handle can be manufactured by a 3D printer and increases the accessibility of your home.
2. Easy Zipper
The example in this video shows a pillow with one of those annoying little zipper handles that is pretty hard to get ahold of. The hack in this case involves attaching a big loop handle to the zipper for easy opening and closing.
3. Snap Cup
The simple IKEA bed frame in this example has a small ledge where one might place a drink (at your own peril, I might add). The device attached to the bed frame is a handy cup holder. Not a bad idea, whether one has a disability or not.
4. Popup Handle
Imagine a free standing cabinet with framed glass façade. Then picture very small handles to open the doors. Now picture replacement handles that are easy to grab. Much better! And even more important, it increases the accessibility of your home.
5. Cabinet Inside Viewer
People in wheelchairs often cannot see what is in containers on shelves, because these items are outside of the line of sight. If shelves are high enough, it is even difficult to see anything at all on that shelf. Here the hack is a mirror installed in the “ceiling” of the shelf, to make everything up there visible.
6. Stuff Reader (for Visually Impaired)
For the visually impaired, there is a “stuff reader” attached to shelves, to let a person know what exactly is on the shelf. Touch the tiny “stuff reader” and an electronic voice announces “medical documents,” or whatever may be appropriate for that particular location.
7. Curtain Gripper
For some with disabilities, manipulating a simple shower curtain can be a challenge. Here we have a clever plastic handle capable of being affixed to the shower curtain, for easy sliding.
8. Mega Switch
Little light switches at the base of a table lamp can be difficult to operate for some. This hack, which is hard to describe, makes the switch much larger and easier to use. Thus, increasing the accessibility of your home. Check out the video to see what I mean.
9. Glass Bumper
Those in wheelchairs can easily run into a cabinet, with unfortunate results, especially if the cabinet has glass panes! This fix for the problem involves easily attachable bumper strips to stave off unwanted damage.
10. Cane By Me
For those who need a cane to get around, getting out of bed can be a challenge if their cane is not easy to reach. Here is a solution to that problem, a simple cane holder affixed to a bed frame.
11. Finger Brush
In this video, two girls with cerebral palsy are not able to hold paint brushes, but want to be artists. Enter the “finger brush” that fits over two fingers, and also has a slot into which one can place and artist’s brush. Time to create!
12. Couch Lift
When you think of a couch lift, you probably envision a complicated built-in mechanism that operates with a strong motor, to help a disabled person to stand from a sitting position. These can be useful, but in some cases are just not necessary. In this case, the four legs of a couch that is too low get “boosters” to make them, and the couch, taller, and easier to get up from. Another way to increase the accessibility of your home.
Check out additional DIY ideas here!