Holiday safety during the pandemic goes beyond vaccinations and masks.
In October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines for safely celebrating with family this holiday season. Getting vaccinated–including boosters for those eligible–and wearing masks indoors (that fit!), are among the top CDC recommendations for staying safe and enjoying time with loved ones.
To this, AT3 Center adds… don’t forget the assistive technology!
“Preparing for visitors may involve more than planning a menu,” writes the West Virginia AT Act Program in their article, Making the Holidays Accessible with Temporary Assistive Technology. “To make everyone as welcome and comfortable as possible, consider the accessibility needs of the guests.”
Or even the AT needed to make a visit possible.
During the holiday season in 2019, a family in Nebraska requested to borrow a 10′ ramp from the Assistive Technology Partnership (the NE AT Act Program).
The family has an older adult family member who uses a wheelchair and they wanted to make sure Christmas dinner was accessible. Nebraska ATP’s equipment manager contacted the household to verify the number of steps they were needing to go up as well as the measurements for the elevation of the door threshold.
It was a good thing they reached out to ATP. Too often people purchase what they think they need without knowledgeable advice or support or an opportunity to see and try specialized equipment. Preventing expensive mistakes is a central role of the State and Territory AT Act Programs. In this case, the family not only saved money, they also received experienced support.
ATP recommended a 12′ ramp because of the rise in elevation from the sidewalk to the porch. In addition, a threshold ramp was provided to get the wheelchair safely into their home.
The family picked up the ramps, borrowed them over the holiday, and returned them two weeks later. Because of ATP’s short-term device loan program, the family was able to safely all be together for the holiday (and at no charge!)
Different State AT Act Programs offer temporary wheelchair-accessible ramps for borrowing from their device loan inventories. These include Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Mississippi, Idaho, Nebraska, Iowa, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Arizona. Ramp sizes, services, and availability vary depending on inventory and demand.
Planning a gathering? Find your State or Territory AT Act Program and talk to them about the unique needs of your visiting family members.