Schools have the difficult task of trying to make their spaces accessible for kids of all abilities. Some do a better job than others in this regard, but even small efforts can make a major impact. Adjusting for kids with a physical disability is common. However, creating spaces suitable for kids with a cognitive disability is also important. We’ve discussed three effective ways schools can provide a more accessible space for all kids.
Create More Than One Entrance
Having a single main entrance helps teachers and staff members regulate who comes in and out throughout the day. But it can also become busy quickly when kids arrive and leave at the same time. For kids with a physical disability, it’s easy for them to get bumped into and fall over and potentially injure themselves. And kids with a cognitive disability might experience some anxiety with so many people in a small area. Creating multiple entrances can be a great solution to spread out some of the foot traffic. The school might need to put a couple of extra staff members by the additional entrances, but it’s worth it when you consider the safety of the students.
Spaces For Kids To Take A Break
Kids sometimes thrive when they have safe spaces. It allows them to unwind if they are feeling nervous or anxious. Schools can adjust their areas by clearing unused spaces and creating spots for kids to take a break. This could simply mean adding a bench or two away from the action on the playground or setting up a small canopy for kids to chill under. The important thing is the space needs to be away from where the main action is taking place, so kids feel like they have a safe spot to take a break from it all. Kids with a cognitive disability need this occasionally to keep their anxiety levels minimized.
Make Bathroom Spaces Open
When the break bell rings, the bathroom could get filled up with kids quickly. Creating an open concept in the bathroom can make it a safer place, especially for kids with a physical disability. Tight spaces are not easy to navigate, in general, but kids with a physical disability can find it particularly challenging. Not to mention they could lose their balance and seriously injure themselves while other kids are trying to rush in and out to get back to class in time. Sometimes all it takes is knocking out a wall or expanding an existing wall a few feet to create an open concept to make the bathroom easier to navigate.
Kids constantly have to adapt to changing environments at school. Schools can help as well by offering different options for kids with cognitive or physical disabilities. Some spaces might be limited due to available space or construction concerns, but many times it doesn’t take a major renovation project to create accessible spaces. Next Day Access can help provide you with some tips on how to make your school accessible for kids of all abilities. Don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a free consultation today.