According to Pew Research Center, roughly seven million students throughout the United States have a disability, whether it’s physical or cognitive. Many of these students will opt for online learning this school year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s still essential for schools to make their classrooms and buildings as accessible as possible.
Physical changes, like installing wheelchair ramps, can make a huge difference for some students and may not require a lot of time, effort, or money to accomplish. Here are some of the top ways to make schools more accessible for students with either a physical or cognitive disability.
Make Schools Accessible for Students with Wheelchairs
A child’s school years are important for their development as they strive to become more independent. This can be difficult for students with physical disabilities that restrict them to a wheelchair. They often need assistance getting inside buildings, classrooms, and other tight areas.
A simple way for schools to accommodate is to install wheelchair ramps in different locations throughout the campus. These wheelchair ramps can increase a student’s confidence since they won’t need assistance from an adult to enter a building. The more barriers schools can remove for students, the happier and more confident they will be when attending classes.
Consider Installing a Vertical Platform Lift
Some students may have a physical disability that allows them to walk without using a wheelchair. However, their mobility may be limited and could easily be thrown off balance between classes with other students in the hallways, especially when using stairs.
Wheelchair ramps are simple enough to install for easy access into buildings, and a vertical platform lift can go a long way in helping students inside the building as they move to different areas. The student can simply stand on the lift and be moved up or down safely without being put in any danger of losing their balance.
Bathroom Accessibility In Schools
Bathrooms often get overlooked in schools when it comes to accessibility. The truth is bathrooms can be the most difficult to navigate since they are small, and it’s hard to turn around a wheelchair in such tight spaces.
Opening up doorways to bathrooms and making a wheelchair accessible stall is a great first step. Installing grab bars to help students maintain their balance is also valuable and could significantly prevent fall injuries.
Also, consider things like the height of sinks and mirrors since students in wheelchairs may not be able to reach or see them at normal heights. These small adjustments can make huge differences for students with disabilities.
Next Day Access is here to help make schools as accessible as possible for students. When a student with disabilities can’t easily access things that other students can, their confidence can be hurt and potentially harm their learning. With school back in full swing, contact us today for a free assessment to see how you can make your schools accessible for students.