It’s been too long since I last put up an entry but I have to be honest with you all, my desire to write has just died. I don’t have that sense of need to write any more. I am sorry about that, readers. But seriously, what’s the point on writing if there is nothing to write about.
Well, life has been full-on for the last couple of months and I have had some amazing experiences one of which I mentioned in my last entry.
I have found a development that is perfect for me. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, balcony, underground parking and of course a lift. There are no steps in front of the building and it is in an area close to a supermarket, a couple of cafes and close to people I know.
The apartment seems perfect and I was very excited when I found it.
But it has taken a while to actually sign the contract because there is so much to take into consideration, especially around the issue of accessibility and being disability friendly.
You have to remember that I am coming from a place of total ignorance for two reasons: I have never built my own place before and I haven’t always had a disability. When I first moved out on my own I moved into my grandparents place and so I didn’t have to do anything as it already had furniture and everything was set up. It even had rails in the shower and next to the toilet. There were no adjustments that were needed to be made.
I was pretty darn lucky. And I guess I am lucky now because I have the chance to create something unique and specific for my needs.
When I met with the architect for the first time, we discussed the width of the hallway from the front door. I hadn’t realized how important it was until we started talking about the future and that one day I might need a wheelchair.
I don’t know much about wheelchairs or scooters and that may be due to my fear of facing reality. However, I have found out that according to the Australian Standards, hallways have to be 1500mm wide so that two manual wheelchairs can fit side by side.
I have also found out that a wheelchair can take up a lot of space when doing a 360 degree turn. And there’s no way that I want to ruin my brand spanking new walls.
The architect mentioned that the width was going to be 1200mm wide and that just won’t do.
After speaking to an OT, we have come to the decision that the width can be 1350mm wide and that will fit a mid-rear wheelchair. These chairs turn around on the spot making for a tight turn and not taking up much space.
Of course other issues came up when I met with the architect – hand rails in the shower, a hand rail next to the toilet in the main bathroom and lowering part of the bench in the kitchen.
There is still so much to think about and many more meetings to be had with the architect and the developer. It’s a major life change for me and it’s an exciting one. An exciting one with lots of hurdles along the way.