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Modifications to assist people with special needs

Modifications to assist people with special needs

After taking a walk around my community residence area, I made several observations on the modifications in the community meant to assist people with special needs; with a focus on the improvements made for those with mobility, vision, and hearing impairments. Additionally, I also noted areas I thought could use further improvements that are required to assist the persons with special needs in the community.

For people with mobility impairments, ramps have been introduced in public spaces such as parks, and public buildings that were previously raised or stepped, in to enable access by individuals using wheelchairs. Modifications have been made to walkways for easy movement for those using wheelchairs. Walkway surfaces have been redone and hazardous curbs removed to prevent accidents. In some public buildings, entrances have been modified to sliding doors which are motion-sensitive (Hansel 2010). This enables easy movement into and out of the building for persons using crutches and wheelchairs. Lifts are also increasingly available in building with more than one floor to ease movement. There is improved signage in buildings and public spaces which eases the movement in such areas for the impaired. The introduction of public transport that is friendly to those living with special needs is also a key improvement for their comfortable movements within their community.

For the visually impaired, the following modifications have been made to improve their movement. The removal of obstacles along walkways and the improvement of walkway surface to prevent tripping. There is also improved protection with guardrails along stepped areas. Modifications have been made to public transport buses, lifts, and bus stops to include voice notification systems which assist in terms of direction.

To help the hearing impaired, in the design and construction of buildings in the community, the following modifications have been made to assist those living with hearing impairments; in an effort to control distracting noises by equipment such fans, heaters, and water pumps, working and living spaces have been modified to cancel out these disruptive noises. There has also been a shift from older equipment which produces more disruptive noises and electromagnetic fields to more advanced models that are designed to be less disruptive (Hansel 2010).  Additionally, to improve the alertness and safety of the deaf, visual fixtures such as doorbells and strobes have been incorporated in spaces. These fixtures are designed to light up to notify individuals with hearing special needs.

Similar to those living with mobility impairment, the modification of walkways and point of building access has been beneficial to the deaf. The widening of walkways facilitates the movement of individuals using sign language preventing collisions and likely accidents. Looking overall at the community, the modifications made for the assistance of people with special needs are more than I realized. Considerable steps have been made to cater to their needs which is a positive effort for the community.

In conclusion, despite the progress made in the community to assist persons with special needs, further improvements are necessary. These include; the addition of disabled toilets in public buildings and other spaces to improve access for persons living with special needs. The introduction of special equipment in public that can be used independently by a person with special needs. Equipment such as ATMs and vending machines that include braille and vocalized systems will assist those with visual special needs (Hansel 2010). Lastly, the proper design of spaces to reduce reverberations which can be distracting and even harmful to the deaf.


Hansel Bauman Architect (2010) Gallaudet University. Deafspace Design Guidelines. 1

World Health Organization. (2017). WHO list of priority medical devices for cancer management. World Health Organization. THET Managing the medical equipment lifecycle.


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For this assignment, you will take a walk across your campus or community and respond to the following:

Modifications to assist people with special needs

Modifications to assist people with special needs

List the modifications that have been made to assist people with special needs.
Consider mobility, vision, and hearing impairments in particular.
Are there more than you realized?
What others are needed?98

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