Everyone deserves to feel supported. However, it can often be more difficult for individuals with disabilities to have their needs met in traditional home spaces. If you’re in a professional or personal environment that could benefit from becoming more inclusive, here are a few suggestions for how to create a safe space for those with disabilities.
If you’re concerned that your friends or family members could accidentally hurt themselves in the home, it’s a good idea to remove as many dangersas possible. Sharp items, choking hazards, and any other objects that could be detrimental should be kept out of reach or tucked away. Remove these items from the space completely or store them in an area that’s safe and secure.
Establish A Comfort Zone
When life gets stressful, individuals with disabilities can benefit from having a comfort zone they can return to. Create a place in the homewhere your loved one can escape from all the noise and stress. This could help them calm down and distract them from their surroundings. The space could be full of your loved one’s favorite items, comfortable furniture, and anything else that will make them feel at ease.
Make Your Home ADA-Compliant
In addition to creating a safe space, it’s important to ensure that your friend or family member has access to all of the necessities. Widening doorways, building ramps, installing showers without curbs, and removing carpeting are just a few steps you can take to make your home inclusive.
In a public or professional space, consider implementing elements of Universal Design. These recommendations can be useful for ensuring that everyone who enters your space will feel supported. Assistive technology may also be an option, depending on your budget and your overall needs.
The world can be a highly stimulating and anxiety-producing place, especially for those with disabilities. The different stimuli can feel overwhelming at times and lead to a sense of panic. If this happens, practice groundingyour friends and loved ones by bringing them into the present and reassuring them that you are there to help. Simply demonstrating your loyalty and concern could make a world of difference.
Share Personal Experiences
Another way to create a safe space is by sharing personal experiences. Open up to individuals who are different from you, and in turn, listen to what they’re feeling or trying to communicate. Over time, this can create an environment where everyone feels comfortable to be themselves.
If you have an individual with disabilities in your life, it only makes sense that you would want to make sure that they feel safe and supported. Fortunately, it’s easy to make sure that your home or office is accessible and inclusive. With just a few of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a space that is comfortable for everyone.
Kay Carter is a writer from Durham, NC. When she isn't writing about the health and wellness, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and practicing yoga.