Posted by JWmHarmon on October 18, 2002 at 13:05:09:
In Reply to: Re: Shy Bladder and Proper Restroom Design posted by BRUTUS on October 18, 2002 at 12:08:07:
Why should it take an act of Congress in the USA to make buildings accessible to those who are physically challenged? Shouldn't we in the building design and construction business have been able to do this on our own without complicated laws and regulations? We should have, but we didn't. When we were an agrarian society of only a few million people, the number of people who were disabled was significantly less. Those who were disabled often had members of an extended family to help them. The disabled often stayed home all the time instead of going to town once a week or once a month. Other members of the family often didn't go to town on a regular basis.
Family life has changed - for better or worse. The necessity of going to public buildings has changed. The sheer number of people who are physically challenged has increased immmensely.
I have been in buildings that have communal restroom facilities and also separate restroom facilities for those needing an assitant. It is not difficult to design these facilities into new buildings. There is no excuse for not including a few of these separate restrooms. It takes only the will to provide the facilities.
A good experiment for those who think this is unnecessary is to spend a week in a wheel chair (you can usually rent them). Try to navigate the terrain and the buildings for a week, and you will have a greater appreciation of the needs of others. This should be required of all college students studying architecture. One could also try doing this with one hand tied behind one's back. Try doing this blindfolded. Try doing this on crutches. The majority of us will experience some type of disability, if only for a short time, at some point in our lives. Let's have a little good old human compassion for those who may be different from the majority of able bodied individuals.
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