“Housekeeping ain’t no joke”, Louisa May Alcott observed in Little Women. The words of Alcott's 19th century character continue to resound, particularly for people with neurological, medical and physical disabilities. When disability restricts movement, adaptive cleaning supplies can make the difference between a job well done and a job that can't be done.Mops, brooms and dust pans with long, angled handles are adaptive equipment that is often used by people in wheelchairs and people with achondroplasia and other forms of dwarfism.It is important to think beyond a specific tool or cleaning substance to the larger environment.Cleaning supplies must be accessible in order to be used. "C" and "D" shaped pulls will easily open drawers where supplies are stored. Lever handles, instead of round knobs, will easily open the doors to closets that contain cleaning equipment. Need water for cleaning? Levers are the best choice for faucets, and your faucets should include an anti-scalding feature. The design of work stations should be appropriate for people who use wheelchairs or otherwise sit while cleaning.Your house should be well lit, with lighting controlled by the rocker or touch switches that require minimal strength and little or no hand/finger dexterity.Work stations should have additional task lighting. Flooring should be even and covered in non-slip material that reduces glare.
Although neither Meg, Beth, Joe nor Amy could identify a robot vacuum cleaner, robotic cleaning equipment is widely recognized in the 21st century. The Australian Human Rights Commission reports: “For blind people, it scours the house for dirt, you don’t need to see it; for people with physical disabilities, it moves itself, so you don’t need to sweep or push the unit, or carry the vacuum cleaner from room to room.” In addition to vacuums, robotic floor equipment includes dusters, brooms, dry mops and wet mops. There are robotic steam cleaners for rugs, carpets, window treatments and upholstered furniture.Robotic cleaners will remove debris from your in-ground pool and from the gutters on your roof.There are robotic window cleaners for framed and unframed glass. A single piece of equipment can often serves multiple cleaning functions, and accessory kits contain brushes, washable filters and detachable microfiber pads..Many models can be pre-programmed, re-charged, and operated by remote control or through the use of a single button.
Remember the vulnerabilities of children. Safety is the priority when you use and store cleaning supplies.