Accessibility Aids That Can Benefit Everyone

Most products that we use everyday are made to make life easier. Accessibility aids and adaptive products are not just for disabled or people with limited mobility, they can benefit everyone! Today on the blog I am sharing a number of items that I have come across over the years that make my life easier. 

Some of these products are not marketed for disabled people or limited mobility, but the genius and well thought out design makes it a product that works for everyone. Great design includes everyone – not just the able-bodied. I hope we can be more inclusive in design going forward. 

Here are a few of my favourite things:

Everyday helpers:

  • Hairdryer holder stand – Holding up a hairdryer above your head for long periods of time can be tricky for anyone so bringing in a hairdryer holder stand makes the whole process so much lighter! You can sit down and slowly move your head and body and let the hairdryer do all the work for you.
  • Memobottle in size A7 – This little handbag sized reusable bottle has been one of the best purchases I have ever made… so much so that I bought two! Great size to fit in a small handbag without adding too much weight and is perfect if you need a few sips for tablets.  
  • Roll on peppermint or essential oils – Scent can calm the nervous system down faster than any other sense, so next time you are feeling stressed or anxious, pull out your favourite scent. There are now so many roll on options which make it safe and easy to carry around in your bag wherever you go and for whenever you may need them. Some of my favourites are Bosisto’s and In Essence.
  • Calm Strips – One of my clients introduced me to Calm Strips, stickers that you can place anywhere and trace with your fingers in moments where you need calm and something to focus on.
  • Fidget toys and rings – Throw one in your bag or on your keyring for those anxious moments, or when you need to occupy your hands. Great for when you are in a waiting room! 
  • Thumb Book Holder – one of my genius friends made me this book holder with his 3D printer and it is helpful when you have difficulty holding open a book or need to change positions and rest your hands and arms. They are easy to find on Etsy.
  • 3D printer – if you have a 3D printer or know someone who does, you can find heaps of instructions online to make your own accessible tools, clips and just about anything! You may even be able to custom make exactly what you need to suit your accessibility requirements – the possibilities are endless!   
[Image Description: Flat lay image on a white surface with a small rectangular water bottle with a black lid, a silver and white computer keyboard, a fidget toy, a book page opener, silver necklace clasps and a tan leather Orbitkey organiser with gold and silver keys splayed out.]
[Image Description: Flat lay image on a white surface with a small rectangular water bottle with a black lid, a silver and white computer keyboard, a fidget toy, a thumb book opener, silver necklace clasps and a tan leather Orbitkey organiser with gold and silver keys splayed out.]

For the fiddly things:

  • Orbit keyring and key organiser with multi-tool – the humble keyring probably wasn’t something that needed redesigning, but when you look at what Orbitkey have created, you realise how inaccessible the original version is for a lot of the population. Orbtkey’s keyring is easy for anyone to switch keys or other rings on and off, without fiddling for ages or breaking nails. Orbitkey launched into popularity with their key organiser, making it easy to flip out the key you need and add extra help like the multi-tool or USB sticks. The multi-tool is a convenient version of the swiss army knife or a tool kit, perfect tool if you have mobility issues and need a helping hand while out and about.
  • Magnetic clasps for necklaces and bracelets – I originally came across this idea as a way to stop multiple necklaces getting tangled while you wear them, then found single magnetic clasps. I’ve been sharing these with my Grandmothers who stopped wearing their favourite necklaces because the clasps became too tricky for them to open and close the original clasps. Pop on one of these little magnets and it’s super easy for anyone to put their favourite jewellery on themselves! 
  • Kitchen tools – hands-free can openers, pull can openers, bottle openers, in-the-pot pasta strainer, there are buckets of kitchen tools available – just google what you need help with and voila!    

Tech that makes life easier: 

  • Voice activated devices such as Alexa, Siri, Google Nest, etc – These devices are great for accessibility and your personal safety and emergencies, especially if you need to call quickly for help without using your body. Set it up ahead of time with a prompt to call your emergency contacts or services. 
  • Passwords apps, like 1Password, LastPass, or native password software for your computer or phone – because we are all done with trying to remember difficult passwords for our many, many apps. One password to rule them all! 
[Image description: iPhone held up with golden sunlit background. The screen shows the audiobook playing Michelle Obama's Becoming book.]
[Image description: iPhone held up with golden sunlit background. The screen shows the audiobook playing Michelle Obama’s Becoming book.]

Easy entertainment:

  • Ebook readers such as a Kindle or Kobo devices, are a much lighter and compact alternative of any book and are a lot easier on the body to hold for long periods of time or to prop up.  
  • Audiobooks were originally created for blind and visually impaired people, now they are a widely popular form of consuming books for everyone. If a subscription is not in your budget or you just want to try it out, check out your local library for their e-resources. Most libraries now have a few apps for ebooks and audiobooks, and multiple copies of the books so you have immediate access!   

Comfortable clothing:

  • One of my favourite things to wear every day is Bamboo Body maternity leggings. They don’t look like maternity leggings (still very fitted) but have an incredible amount of stretch, are super soft, and comfortable for all weather temperatures. Bamboo is super comfy, breathable, temperature regulating and sustainable too!
  • Finding fashionable and age appropriate adaptive clothing is difficult and Every Human has it all in one place, plus ally support apparel too!
  • Finding accessible clothing can be tricky so try searching for ‘adaptive clothing’ online for stores in your country. Some of my favourite finds have been underwear with opening clips on the hips, front opening bras and tops, magnetic button shirts, pants with pull tabs, elastic shoelaces, wigs (for days when washing your hair is too much), and bags that have straps that can be worn as a crossbody bag or transformed into a backpack. 

The thing about accessibility aids is that they can be helpful for everyone, and a product may be used for more than its original intended purpose – a pair of gloves for a bike are also great for using a wheelchair. Thinking outside the box of the original purpose can lead to new ways of using products and a new way of making life easier for all of us. 

Do you have any ideas that make life easier for everyone? Share them in the comments below! 

Take care, Readers. I’ll keep the light on.

Present Ideas for People with Medical Conditions

Buying presents for people with chronic conditions can sometimes be a little tricky. Here are some suggestions that are fail-safe to bring your loved ones some joy and comfort this festive season!

Managing Celebrations With Chronic Condition

Anyone with a chronic condition can tell you that going to celebrations or large events can be quite challenging and exhausting. With some careful planning and sensible self care, we can make the event much more enjoyable and last longer than Cinderella before the carriage turns into a pumpkin!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s