People with disabilities live in worlds (and often houses) that were not designed with them in mind. Out of what can be frustration and clunky attempts to make things work, emerges creative solutions, sometimes in the form of life hacks that make day-to-day tasks a bit easier.
I’m a disabled mom of three who works full-time, mostly from home right now, so I’m especially happy to find any tricks of the trade to make our household run as smoothly as possible. Here are a couple of low-budget items that our family uses on a daily basis.
Our house is unique because it has four closets in one room, our master bedroom. When we put away laundry, we hang everyone’s clothes on one lower-hanging rolling rack and then everyone distributes their own clothes to their closets. Each person’s closet considers their height. My son, who is a little person, and our 5-year-old daughter, have rods they can reach. My Stretto Power Wheelchair with iLevel® technology allows me to reach everyone’s closet areas.
Moving Furniture Easily
Our living room is multi-purpose. I know we’re approaching the era of teens spending more time in their rooms, but I want to encourage our family to spend time together by creating spaces that work for all of us. Sometimes, this is as simple as moving some furniture. Yet, heavy lifting is not one of my strengths! Instead, we use these moving discs that sit under our furniture. This allows us to slide our furniture across the floor (carpet or hardwood) to change up the room to meet our needs.
I love learning about other people’s household hacks, whether they are useful items or effective systems. There’s increasing attention to how people with disabilities use everyday items to improve accessibility, like this article. Dr. Laura Maudlin recently published “Disability at Home,” which is a website culminating from her research exploring everyday adaptations. You can check out her website by clicking here. Follow me @karaayers on Instagram for more household hacks.
About Kara Ayers: Kara is a mother of three and lives in Ohio. She is an associate professor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. In 2021, Kara spoke to the Biden-Harris COVID-19 Equity Taskforce about the need for people with disabilities to access the COVID-19 vaccine. Click here to learn more about Kara.
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