Contacting the facilities went very well for us. I didn’t personally call any of them, Maranda did that, but from what she said both venues were very welcoming. When we arrived at our appointment times we all got the same impression she got on the phone. That these are really nice people who are happy to welcome us into their place of business. We had a great experiance. I look forward to doing similar work in the furure.
The second evaluation, and our arts venue, that my group and I did was at the Penobscot National Museum on Indian Island. It was extremely interesting, I had never been. The director was very welcoming and when we called he said we could come at any time. We found that they didn’t have any specific handicapped parking however, all the parking that was available was accessible. The museum was small so there were only a handful of parking spaces to begin with. They all were within 10 feet of the main entrance. The entry was good. The door was light to open and was wide enough. The lip of the threshold was a bit high but could still be crossed with a wheel chair. Most of the rooms were spacious, the entry room and the main part of the museum were very maneuverable however, the gift shop was a bit tight. I believe when we measured the aisles they were a touch too narrow at the lower portion of the shelves. As wheelchair bound people may get caught up. The director did say though that he has had customers in wheelchairs in the past come in and had no trouble. The shelves and the display cases were low enough but they were also deep, so I feel that for someone lower to the ground they may have difficulty seeing some of the artifacts. Overall it was an interesting experienced and I even learned a bit about the Indian heritage in the area. I believe that this project is one that I will reference back to for the rest of my career, for example, how to approach the building and workers as a person and as an O.T. I find it interesting that our presence can make people nervous and uncomfortable as well and I understand why, and I think all that tension can be relieved just by the way you represent yourself. If a group went in expecting to find things that are wrong they will portray that same feeling in their introduction and following conversation with the owners and managers of the places you see, and that can be good cause for confrontation. I think the materials that we were told to review before contacting any locations were invaluable. Most people didn’t realize how little things you say or not say could make a huge impact on the entire situation.
The first evaluation my group and I did was the Mosque in Orono. This counted for our spiritual space. It was one of the most unique experiances I have ever had in my entire life. When we first walked in there was a place to take off your shoes, and we did. Just doing that alone made it feel like we were walking into a home. We were greeted by the facilities community outreach coordinator, she was extremely welcoming and very excited that we were there. She walked us around and told us what the different rooms were used for and about the accomodations they have for the disabled. We measures, weighed, judged, suveyed and took photos and our conclusion was that there facility was close to perfect. There were several handicapped parking spaces right by the entrances and door ways and hall ways were more that spacious. The rooms were the most unique, because they do there worshiping on there knees there are no needs for seating, or anyother obsticle creating furnature. Even the rest rooms had wheelchair friendly sinks. It was great. I really enjoyed this experiance. I think this experiance is something I can take into many parts of my life. For sure in my job as an O.T. one day, to always keep an open mind and that there are people out there who care to make a situation a bit simpler for someone who faces a world of obsticles.
This week we had to do a survey of our own homes to see how accessible or inaccessible they are. Before I did mine I honestly thought that it was in pretty good shape accessibility wise, then I started filling out the home checklist. I don’t see how my house could be anymore inaccessible. I was very shocking to me. If someone needed to get around my home in a wheel chair they wouldn’t even make it to the apartment. It is up a flight of stairs and around a tight turn and the hall ways are too narrow for a wheel chair. There are even too many obstacles for someone who is blind. In a few different areas there are a couple of steps down into other rooms and in places you might not expect. I thought this was a very cool exercise, I learned a lot from it. If anyone where to ask me before this if I thought my home was accessible I would have said yes without hesitation, just because I assumed if I could get around just fine so could everyone else. I think that is a lot how other people think as well. Now I understand that overlooking something like narrow hall ways is a serious problem. It was eye opening.
This website is really cool. I love this idea and I think it should become a standard for all new construction to be accessible. It would save so much time and money not to mention the injuries it could prevent from disabled people trying to get around in an unsafe inaccessible area.
We had to go into a disabled persons home and see all the different adaptions they have made to live life as independently and easily as possible. I went to Wanda’s home and took a look around. As I walked up to the house I noticed and steep, skinny ramp that about half way up had a 90 degree turn in it. Not to mention the platform (deck) was so small wheeling out onto it would leave little room for error. I walked inside and saw hardwood floors and tile- much easier to wheel around on than carpet. Next we went into the kitchen, that was really cool. The counter tops were lowered for her use. and under the bar, sink and stove were empty space left for her chair to go under. The stove top would raise and lower at the touch of a button for her acess to all four burners. The oven was not under the stove but on the wall under some cabnets. It still wasn’t as low as usual to give her room for her feet, and it opened fom the side instead of out and down. They had a refrigerator with side by side doors and all the light switches were lowered. Next we went into the bathroom and on the way I noticed a ramp instead of stairs leading up to the laundry room with front loading washer and dryer. Leadin into the bathroom was a small hall way but the oversized door way helped. The entire bathroom, walls and all were covered in tile. The sink was small and so was the toilet. The entire room became the shower once the water was turned on. There was a chair she would sit in attached to the wall while taking a shower and the shower head was on a longer hose. Next we saw he motor assisted wheelchair. That was very cool. It was light wheight and with even the lightest touch of the wheel it took right off. Last we saw her van. Even though she can use her legs she can still be completely independent and drive herself somewhere. The van has a lift that gets her chair in and out. She lifts herself in and with adaptions on the petals she can regulate the gas and break with her hands. There is also a button that allows her to open and close the door to the van without leaving the drivers seat. I really enjoyed this experiance. I feel that I have learned a lot and I think of adaptions in so many different ways now.
I really enjoyed this activity. I was shocked to find out how inaccessable Husson was. I really wouldn’t even know where to begin. I do believe it would be very expensive to fix all that needs be fixed, but it really needs to be done. I think the best way to bring awareness to this issue is to have the admin. staff do the same simulation that we did. No words can explane what a disabled person has to go through better than experiancing it first hand. I think it would bring better understanding and a stronger sense of urgency to the situation. It needs to be fixed.
VSA is a great organization that gives disabled people a way to express themselves through art. I love this idea. I had never heard of this organization before but I can’t think of a better way to promote creativity in people that otherwise may have trouble expressing themselves due to their limitations.
This week we were asked to do a power point that talked about our occupations. We broke them down into home, work, or leisure and we had to discuss any limitations we may have with them. I enjoy using the power point program so this assignment was fun. We also did an activity (in class) dealing with the Barth Time Construction Manual. We were given a sheet with a chart in it and were asked to cut colored paper and glue it on the chart representing what we did on that day and that time. I didn’t really “get” this assignment. I mean The end concept was something worth talking about but I felt that the project was a bit much just to make a point about time management. I did learn that I have a lot more free time than I think I do. Over all I enjoyed what I learned this week.
The video really opened my eyes to how important service learning is. I didn’t realize in how many ways it can be applied. I do agree that it inhances learning to the point that it feels effortless at the same time as making a difference. I can’t wait to get further into the course and really get involved in things.
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