Accessibility is a major issue when it comes to living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act No 108 of 1996) protects the rights and dignity of People with Disabilities and promotes and supports the full equalization of opportunities of People with Disabilities.

Accessible Places

Google Maps users can now turn on the “Accessible Places” feature (currently only available in Australia, Japan, UK and US) to have wheelchair accessibility information more prominently displayed within the app. When Accessible Places is switched on, a wheelchair icon will indicate an accessible entrance, and you’ll be able to see if a place has accessible seating, restrooms, or parking. To turn on this feature, have a look at the video below:

Home Modifications

The home should be a haven, not a hazard when it comes to accessibility. There are many options to consider when building a new home or modifying an existing one. Professional contractors can be hired to build wheelchair-accessible ramps and remodel bathrooms or bedrooms. There are also budget-friendly, practical solutions to ease the home modification process. One way to give more space to doorways is to install double hinges that allow the door to swing completely open. Another is to find products like a stair lift that is being sold from a family no longer using the equipment. It is advisable to avoid having many stairs in the home if possible, but installing an elevator, ordering a stair climber, or putting in a stair lift are ways to combat that. Bathroom and bedroom modifications may be necessary with the installation of a ceiling lift, an adjustable bed, an open layout with grab bars, a roll-in shower chair, and smart outlets that can be controlled by voice or a phone. It is important to have a barrier-free entry and exit available.

Accessible Vehicles

A variety of options are available for accessible vehicles, including SUV’s, minivans, and full conversion vans. The process of finding an accessible vehicle should begin with an evaluation from a certified driver rehabilitation specialist (CDRS). They will perform a needs assessment that includes an evaluation of physical capabilities, budget, and lifestyle needs. Minivans are the most common choice of vehicle with the option of a foldout ramp or built-in ramp.