In 2015, almost 40 million people were living with disabilities in the United States alone. Many people don’t expect a debilitating injury, so their homes become ill-suited after a severe accident or illness leading to their condition. Here are a few alterations to home electrical systems that might be useful to people with disabilities.
Retrofitting Switches and Outlets
Relocating switches and outlets might be necessary for individuals who can no longer reach them. For example, if someone sustained severe spinal cord damage that led to paraplegia, he or she would likely be using a wheelchair for ambulation. Someone’s reach is significantly lower when sitting than standing, and most homes are built with a person of average height in mind. Therefore, an electrician might be called in to lower the light switches in a room in order for individuals with limited reach to access the light controls. Likewise, outlets can be repositioned higher to allow people easier access. This is usually a problem in older homes, as new housing codes have been updated to ensure outlets, switches, and other environmental controls are placed within easy reach for those in wheelchairs.
Good visibility is crucial for people who have vision problems or trouble navigating. An electrician can help install an even lighting throughout all rooms to reduce glare. Frosted, surface-mount fixtures are often used to light a room evenly without causing glares, which can trigger headaches. It also makes it easier for people to see all aspects of the house without worrying about tripping over objects in the shadows.
Types of Lighting
Electricians understand the different kinds of lighting a person can use in their homes. For those who don’t get much natural sunlight, full-spectrum lighting can reduce the yellow wavelength of light and cast a glow similar to natural sunlight. Disabilities can often cause depression or mood swings as the person affected adjusts to this change in lifestyle. His or her family and caretakers also have to adapt. Studies have shown natural light often improves peoples’ moods, which is essential to those who may be experiencing stress in response to the disability.
Appliances can be hard to access even for people without disabilities. Light switches attached to ceiling fans, for example, can be hard to reach for people of short stature. However, a disability can make this even more problematic. Appliance controls that connect to easy-to-reach switches and remote controls can be extremely useful to people with limited mobility. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires buildings to have readily accessible climate control systems, such as air conditioning, heating, ceiling fans, and lighting. However, it didn’t include appliance controls. Many device manufacturers have developed products designed to be accessible by those in a sitting position. However, not many remote-control systems are do-it-yourself projects, particularly in older houses. Experienced electricians are needed to safely evaluate the systems in the house and install any upgrades in order to avoid accidents.
If you’re ready to adapt your home for yourself or a family member, then contact one of our Marietta electricians at Lightning Bug Electric. We pride ourselves in delivering top-notch electrical services for people in our community. Let us help you with your electrical needs. We offer discounts for police officers, firefighters, military members, and senior citizens. If you would like to schedule an appointment today, contact us at (404) 471-3847 or fill out our online form to get in touch.