Universal Design Means No Knobs

Vancouver City Hall has opted to remove all of the door knobs in the building and replace them with levers. This might seem like a waste, but consider that all City Halls are facilities frequently used by the public. Designing spaces for public use requires the designer to recognize the need for Universal Design. Universal Design produces spaces that are accessible for all members of the public, regardless of ability. Not only are they doing this at City Hall, but they have passed an accessible housing bylaw that requires all new buildings to include levers instead of knobs.

The story was published here: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/dailybrew/doorknobs-banned-vancouver-homes-could-city-next-194226250.html

For more information regarding Universal Design, please visit http://udinstitute.org/

Hi I’m Vanessa – Garaven

VanessaMy name is Vanessa and I currently work for Garaventa Lift. We are a manufacturer of accessibility lifts, home elevators and portable wheelchair lifts that are sold all over the world. I got involved with this company in a large part because I believe very strongly in making the world more accessible.

I have had a lot of personal experiences in my life seeing how inaccessible many places are given the fact that both my best friend and my grandmother are handicapped.

I am excited to participate in this blog as a resource for those who are frustrated by  barriers which can hamper access to wheelchairs on a daily basis. I am also going to blog about the different advancements in accessibility equipment globally.

Caitlin (one of my greatest friends) has cerebral palsy and for the most part spends her life outside of her parents’ home in a wheelchair. While she can walk with a specially designed cane, she feels much safer in her chair. I have, countless times, carried her wheelchair up or down stairs so that we can get from point A to point B. Lucky for me she can walk while holding onto a railing, and her wheelchair isn’t too heavy!

My grandma has been struck by a bit of unfortunate luck in her right leg, and can only walk with a walker. I say unfortunate luck because she broke her knee cap running into a store to tell one of her friends that I had been born twenty five years ago. So as a kind of penance, and well because I just plain love her; I carry her walker wherever we need to go if there isn’t an accessible option.

Having recently graduated from university, I am looking forward to providing a resource for those who are looking at the different types of devices needed to make buildings or areas accessible for everyone.

If you have a question about the different types of accessibility lifts available on the market today, please send me a note and I will do my best to provide you the information to help you decide on what type of lift is best for your situation.

Vanessa

Garaventa Lift Foundation Partners with Canwest Lift and Elevators

Garaventa Lift Home Elevators and Wheelchair LiftsCanwest Elevators and Lifts, our Garaventa Lift dealer in Calgary, Alberta, Canada has partnered with Easter Seals, Beattie Homes, Rona Home Center Ogden Road and Garaventa Lift in a new program called “Give a Kid a Lift”.

The ownership group of Canwest Elevator and Lifts has decided to embark on an initiative that will endeavor to supply and install at least one accessibility elevator or inclined platform wheelchair lift into a home each year at no cost to the family. There are many parents that are coping with physically challenged children under very trying circumstances. It is Canwest’s intent to offer them a gift that will help them manage a little easier. Canwest Elevators has been a supporter of Easter Seals for many years and they decided to ask for their assistance in determining the recipient.

This year’s recipient is Lorinda Bye. Lorinda was camping in a tent with her younger sister was struck by a tree that the heavy winds blew down. Her injuries left her paralyzed from the waist down and has confined her to a wheelchair.

The Genesis Shaftway vertical platform lift that was installed will allow Lorinda to access to all levels of her families home and increase her ability to live more independently.