There are people who suffer from the chronic medical condition from childhood, but the disability can happen at any time in life, whether it comes as an adult or at a late-age. Sometimes, disability occurs because of an accident or illness. There are 61 million adults in the US that live with a disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That means that 1 in 4 adults have some kind of disability.
Why is freelancing a good working choice for people with disabilities?
57 million Americans freelanced in 2019 according to 2019 Freelancing in America study by Freelancers Union and Upwork— evidence of its increasing popularity, particularly among younger generations. 43% affirmed they chose to work from home because of their health issues.
Workin in a space that is comfortable and inspiring is seen as a great benefit by freelancers, who don’t have to worry about the usual office distractions like noise, unsuitable lighting or uncomfortable office furniture. All these factors could be disturbing for a person with disabilities.
How to improve the environment to be more productive?
Creating and working in a space-optimized for an individual’s needs is one of the great benefits of freelancing. The end result should be a stimulating space designed for trouble-free navigation and ultimate comfort if you’re thinking about modifying your home’s work area.
We’ve gathered several tips to help people with disabilities create an accessible workspace to accommodate their specific needs.
Lighting influences your mood
Allow as much natural light as possible in your working room. It is great for easing anxiety and it makes a big difference in your mood. Natural light has a significant impact on workplace wellness according to a 2019 Future Workplace study.
In order to control the amount of light coming in use blinds or other window coverings, such as sheer curtains. For reading and working activities, keep a chair near a window. You can ensure brightness by placing lamps and other fixtures in appropriate places. In order to illuminate the area where you work, add table lamps, floor lamps or clip-on lamps. Be sure not to have the light pointed directly into anyone’s eyes.
Lighting can be placed low for those in a wheelchair. Avoid low-hanging lights that might get in the way if you have limited vision. You may want to try a few lighting options to see which works best for your specific needs. You have three light options: halogen, fluorescent or incandescent. You can also use voice-activated or motion-sensor switches for hands-free lighting.
How to pick the furniture to accommodate your disability?
You’ll want a desk at the right height and width so the chair can roll under the desk with no impediments if you are modifying a space to accommodate a wheelchair. An adjustable desktop is ideal because it allows the surface to be placed exactly where it’s needed. The desk should have shelves and drawers within easy reach. They can be labeled with bright colors and large letters for those with low vision.
Set up the desk and other furniture pieces in a way that allows a wheelchair to turn around without bumping into anything. Leave at least 32 inches between furniture pieces to ensure a wheelchair can pass. Placing bookshelves and tables along the walls will keep the middle of the room open.
Storage for an organized work area
You can continue working without having to take time to search for an item when supplies, files and work tools are within easy reach and are readily identifiable.
To make it easy to access materials, put them in cabinets or storage bins that don’t have doors. If you do use doors, install large handles for easier gripping. Set a rule that any drawer or cabinet door must be closed immediately after use to avoid creating obstacles for those with low vision, and to avoid obstructing the path of a wheelchair.
We hope our advice came in handy and you can organize your working space according to your needs and your personality.