Living With Polio


Most closets are organized too high for someone in a wheelchair or for someone who is vision impaired. The best way to achieve “low oriented” closet space is to unload the closet and take out all the original shelving and hanging rods. Next the disabled person should get in front of the empty closet and describe where the clothes and other items should be placed for daily living. Then put shelves and rods in the places where the disabled person needs them.

Some people like the vinyl coated wire closet systems because they add visibility from below of what is above. The vision impaired do not choose these systems and prefer plywood shelving. The cost is about the same. Pay special attention to making certain that the rods and shelving are very securely mounted. Assume that people will use them to pull themselves up. Mounting a florescent light to the ceiling of a closet helps the partially sighted and anyone using the closet.

Baldwin Keenan, Retired Carpenters Club 108, June 2011

Retired Club 108 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters has an eight year history in Orange County, California of installing grab bars and other, sometimes extensive modifications, on the homes of polio survivors, the vision impaired and others whose medical problems impair their use of their home. We donate our labor and are usually able to obtain donations for materials. Most of our projects are referred by the Dayle McIntosh Center for Independent Living. Some have come through the Braille Institute and the Post-Polio Support Group of Orange County.

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