Individuals with severe disabilities can face various barriers in their daily lives. These barriers depend on the particular individual, the severity of their disabilities, their lifestyle, the support system they have, and more. Each individual with a disability is unique, and so too are their needs. Most commonly, these disabilities are developmental disabilities, which can affect different parts and functions of the body. This includes areas like language, learning, behavior, and physical impairment, and can impact what an individual is capable of doing on their own.
Fortunately, there are tools, equipment, and technologies that can assist people with severe developmental disabilities. Commonly referred to as safety equipment and adaptive tools — or adaptive devices for disabilities—these tools help people to manage their disabilities and overcome some of the obstacles that they face. This helps individuals with developmental disabilities to become more independent and live long, fulfilling lives.
Safety equipment and adaptive tools for people with these disabilities are designed to help individuals with physical and cognitive impairments live more independently and safely. These tools can range from simple devices, such as grab bars and handrails, to more complex equipment, such as communication devices and power wheelchairs. In this article, we’ll look at some of the different—and most useful—safety equipment and adaptive tools for individuals with severe developmental disabilities.
Mobility Devices and Aids
One important category of safety equipment for people with severe disabilities is mobility aids. These devices can include manual wheelchairs, walkers, power wheelchairs, standers, scooters, and more. They provide individuals with the ability to move around independently and safely, both inside and outside of their homes. Power wheelchairs, in particular, are useful for individuals who have limited upper body strength or mobility, as they are operated by a joystick or other control system.
Without these devices, moving around could be difficult—and even dangerous—for individuals with developmental disabilities. It could also require assistance from another person, meaning there would always need to be someone else around if you wanted to move from one place to another. However, mobility devices and equipment enable people with severe disabilities to achieve greater independence and get around safely on their own.
Adaptive Communication Devices
Another important category of safety equipment for people with severe developmental disabilities is adaptive communication devices. These devices can include simple communication boards with pictures or symbols, or more advanced devices that use speech-generating technology. These devices allow individuals with severe disabilities to communicate their needs and wants, which can greatly improve their quality of life.
Without these devices, many individuals with developmental disabilities would not be able to communicate with others. This would limit what they are able to do, like socializing with friends and family or asking for help with something.
Equipment for Activities of Daily Living
Adaptive tools for people with severe developmental disabilities can also include equipment for activities of daily living (ADLs), such as special utensils, adaptive clothing, and adaptive furniture. Special utensils, for example, can include adapted forks, spoons, and cups with larger handles to make them easier to grip. Adaptive clothing can include clothing with Velcro closures, snaps, or zippers that make dressing easier, or clothing with special pockets or loops to hold communication devices. Adaptive furniture can include adjustable beds, recliners, and tables that can be raised or lowered to accommodate individuals with limited mobility.
Disability Equipment for the Home
Another important category of safety equipment for people with severe developmental disabilities is home safety equipment. This can include devices such as grab bars, handrails, and ramps that can be installed to make it easier for individuals with developmental disabilities to move around inside their homes. Smoke alarms, emergency response systems, and other safety devices can also be added to ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to stay safe in case of an emergency. For those with certain severe disabilities, there are also ceiling lift track systems and other methods for getting around that assist with mobility in the home.
In conclusion, safety equipment and adaptive tools for people with severe developmental disabilities can greatly improve their quality of life by providing them with the means to live independently and safely. These tools can range from simple devices such as grab bars and handrails to more complex equipment such as communication devices, power wheelchairs, and lift systems. It is important for individuals with severe disabilities to have access to these tools, as they can greatly improve their ability to live independently and safely.
At New Concepts for Living (NCFL), our mission is to serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and it is the fundamental force that makes us the premier community for adults with IDD in New Jersey. We are committed to caring for and nurturing adults challenged with special needs so they can attain their highest level of wellness, independence, and achievement. This includes supporting them with the safety equipment and adaptive tools they need to assist them in living a long, fulfilling life.
Our meticulously maintained homes and caring staff enable us to provide the highest level of service for the individuals we care for. We also work to continuously improve our services and homes in order to provide the best care for our residents now and in the future, like our new medically fragile homes opening up that use things like ceiling lift track systems.
In addition, NCFL has an Adult Achievement Center Day Program that offers the most robust and diverse calendar of activities for those we serve. We understand that a busy and productive life is the key to leading a fulfilling life and promoting mental health.
We recognize the need for quality services for every extraordinary individual in northern New Jersey and are committed to expanding. NCFL is currently building new community residences (group homes) in Old Tappan, Mahwah, Hillsdale, and Upper Saddle River—as well as planning to open a larger Day Program Facility in 2023—and is dedicated to finding ways to further expand and grow to better serve our community! You can learn more about the work we do, make a donation to support our mission, contact us for more information, or request placement for a loved one today!