Tag: disabled

Disabilities and planes: how to fly without barriers

Travelling can seem extremely complicated for people with disabilities or mobility problems, especially when using means of public transport. Thanks to the European Guidelines and Regulations designed to ensure that the rights of all passengers are respected, planes are perhaps some of the most accessible means of transport.

In fact, airlines offer flights that are safe and comfortable for all passengers by researching special solutions and services for people with permanent and temporary disabilities.

Accessibility at the airport

Certain Italian airports, such as Rome FiumicinoTurin and Milan Malpensa, feature “Sale Amiche” (Friendly Rooms), where people with disabilities can obtain information and assistance. In addition to televisions, nurseries, and children’s toys, these rooms also contain telephones for the deaflavatories free of architectural barriersnewspapers and magazines in Braille, and special armchairs for people with disabilities. People with disabilities and their assistants can contact the check-in desks at all Italian airports for any information or necessity.

Safe gates

Airlines cannot deny boarding for reasons associated with disabilities or mobility problems.

Passengers with disabilities also have the right to check or carry on two mobility devices free of charge.

A wheelchair is available on board to facilitate the movements of disabled passengers, and aisle seats with folding armrests are reserved for people with disabilities.

In many cases, guide dogs are even permitted in the cabin, provided that they are muzzled and on a leash, otherwise they can travel in a special kennel in the baggage compartment.

Know before you go

In order to avoid unpleasant mishaps at the airport, it is recommended to ask the airline beforehand about the procedures and time frames necessary for the various communications and requests. According to the European guidelines, a passenger is required to notify the airline of any special requirements he/she may have at least 48 hours prior to departure, so that the airline can arrange the necessary assistance.

Be sure to carefully read your selected airline’s terms and conditions, as this will allow you to enjoy your air travel experience in complete comfort and with the utmost peace of mind, without any problems or inconveniences.

Co-housing: a solution for everyone

Co-housing, or rather the choice to live together with other families, and to share not only your living environments, but also your free time, has become increasingly popular in recent years, even in Italy.

Many families choose to jointly build a common housing complex, which, in addition to the individual apartments, also contains various common areas, like laundry rooms, play rooms for children, gardens, libraries, and often even a kitchen and dining area for shared meals.

This isn’t just a way to save money by sharing expenses, but it also allows for numerous social benefits to be obtained.

In fact, co-housing allows people to avoid being alone, and can be an ideal housing solution for the elderly, who, while still retaining their own private quarters, have various opportunities to enjoy the companionship of other families, and can make themselves useful, for example, by helping them out with small domestic or maintenance tasks, or can even serve as adoptive grandparents for their children, who might need to be looked after while their parents are busy.

Guaranteed accessibility

One important aspect for residential co-housing complexes is the elimination of architectural barriers, in order to ensure that there are no limitations for the inhabitants or any guests.

An excellent solution in this regard is to install a lift, which ensures greater home comfort for everyone, above all for people with disabilities, the elderly, and mothers with small children strollers.

Furthermore, the current electric lifts, such as the EcoVimec, offer the eco-compatibility characteristics required for co-housing structures. In fact, the sharing of rooms and resources naturally leads to behavioural and attitude changes that favour energy savings and the eco-sustainability of the community itself, such as ethical purchasing groups, or car sharing, for example.

Co-housing is an important life choice that offers countless advantages!

How much does a stairlift cost?

Our daily goal is to offer increasingly better services and to ensure the satisfaction of those who choose Vimec for their comfort and mobility needs.

We are always available to provide those who contact us for the first time with any information they may require about our products and solutions for easily and conveniently overcoming staircases at home. One of the questions that we hear most often from new customers regards the price of a new stairlift (such as the Vimec Dolce Vita stairlift) and the reason the price isn’t specified in the catalogue or on the website.

The answer is simple: it’s not possible to provide a single fixed price for the installation of a stairlift.

All of Vimec’s systems are made to measure in order to meet the specific needs of their buyers and their installation environments. Every stairlift installed is unique, and the cost therefore changes based on various factors:

  • Type and length of the staircase: it is important to and determine the side of the staircase upon which it needs to be installed, as well as the length of the run, the number of curves, and any intermediate stops required;
  • The most suitable model: since each customer has different requirements, it is necessary to identify the most suitable stairlift by taking all of their particular needs into account;
  • The living environment: in addition to eliminating the problem of overcoming the stairs within the home, a stairlift must also have characteristics and finishes that allow it to be perfectly integrated within the surrounding living environment. Your Vimec consultant will be able to determine the best solution for your home.
  • Special installations: not all staircases are suitable for installing a stairlift, and, in certain cases, it is necessary to come up with ad hoc solutions in order to achieve this goal.

All it takes is a free, no-commitment, on-site inspection by a technical consultant to evaluate the type of staircase to be overcome, and the most suitable stairlift model to be installed.

The consultant will also provide you with a detailed illustration of how Vimec will create a solution tailored to your needs, complete with all the customisation possibilities, in order to meet all of your requirements, even in terms of pricing.

Teaching accessibility

In recent years, the issue of accessibility has become increasingly important, and this has increased the need to ensure the complete accessibility of public places and buildings, such as museums, exhibition venues, theatres, monuments, tourist attractions, etc.

When we think of architectural barriers, we usually think of stepsuneven flooring, and anything else that might pose a physical obstacle for people in wheelchairs or with mobility problems; we rarely realise, however, that there are also other types of “barriers” that people with disabilities have to face everyday.

V64 Stadio San Siro

These barriers depend upon the awareness of the community itself, which often doesn’t fully understand the needs of people with disabilities.

The aim of creating a culture of accessibility is not only to render every place accessible to all, but also to provide instructions on the right way to handle each type of disability, and to raise awareness of what each of us can do every day to help make people with disabilities feel like they’re an integral part of our communities.

One excellent example is provided by the City of Milan, which in recent years has sought to

www.milanopertutti.it), especially to tourists with disabilities, even by launching a website dedicated to accessible tourism (www.milanopertutti.it), where people with disabilities can find all the information needed to visit the city without any limitations.

Numerous places of interest have been rendered accessible to everyone. For example, a Vimec V64 platform stairlift has now been installed at the San Siro Stadium. Many public offices also have platform lifts for people with disabilities, such as the V65 stairlift present at the Pontechiasso post office.

V65 B.R.2

The city has also created an e-learning platform for all those who work in direct contact with the public, and therefore need to receive training with regard to accessibility and the accommodation of people with disabilities: www.milanoaccogliente.it.

This website provides free online courses for people operating in the tourism and social services sectors, such as restaurant managers, taxi drivers, travel companions, welfare workers, etc.; the courses explain how to interact with people based on their type of disability, with particular attention being placed upon the needs associated with the various disabilities themselves.

It’s a concrete form of assistance for everyone, and represents one more step towards a world that’s completely accessible to everyone!

Vimec will be among the Italian excellences present at Interlift in Augsburg, Germany.

During the world’s main Trade Fair dedicated to lifts and vertical transport in general (INTERLIFT – Augsburg, Germany, from 15 to 18 October 2013), Vimec will be present at the Magnificent Italy stand, with its S10 platform liftand a T09 Roby model mobile stairclimber.

The Magnificent Italy stand arose from a joint initiative between the German trade fair organizer AFAG and the Italian publication Elevatori, with the aim of creating a space dedicated to Italian excellences, with a focus upon the undisputed prestige of several manufacturers in the industry, and flanking it with major brands and flagship products from the Italian market: Ferrari, Ducati, various Fashion Designers (Prada, Armani, Flos), and companies associated with Italy’s Wine & Food culture.

At the Magnificent Italy stand, visitors can admire Italian excellences next to the products of Italian companies like Vimec, and take a break in the tasting area, where samples of Prosecco, genuine Parmesan cheese, pizza, and pasta will be offered on a daily basis.

A Venice accessible to everyone: is it even possible?

A grandiose work of art, the city of Venice, has recently found itself embroiled in controversy on the Internet. The complaint of a Venetian girl has ignited a controversy about the inability to get around and live in Venice due to the numerous architectural barriers, thus mobilising the likes of Bernardo Bertolucci, and even Mayor Orsini himself. After recalling the recent interventions carried out to facilitate the mobility of people with disabilities in Venice, the city’s mayor nevertheless declared that no historical city is entirely accessible to the disabled.

And yet the fact that it took the web reporter, armed with crutches and a wheelchair, more than three and a quarter hours to go from the train station to St. Mark’s Square makes you wonder. The thirteen bridges that separate these two points of the city have transformed themselves from splendid attractions into difficult obstacles. How can one admire the architecture of Ponte Calatrava or Ponte della Paglia when they have become unscalable walls for so many people?

Will the world’s most beautiful city, which arose from the fusion of Venetian, Byzantine, and Gothic art, ever be accessible to everyone? We’re not just talking about tourists, but also hundreds of Venetians with disabilities or elderly people with mobility issues. We like to think that one day it will be. The market of overcoming architectural barriers is always ready to offer both vertical and horizontal solutions, and Vimec will certainly do its part to offer solutions made it to measure, thus ensuring the mobility of people with disabilities in complete safety and comfort. The Venetian building code has already changed, and now even permits the installation of outdoor lifts on historic buildings. These will allow people to get out of the house and move about more freely. Finally, with projects like “”Gondolas without barriers””, which will provide people in wheelchairs with direct access to gondolas, the city of canals will gradually become increasingly accessible.

The future looks promising.

https://youtu.be/3qqFtMGtAbw

Vimec and its dealers: teamwork makes all the difference!

There are 84 days left until the start of the 2014 Olympics and Para Olympics in Sochi, and the preparation work for the participating athletes and around the Olympic village is intensifying.

As previously reported, Vimec is also engaged in this process, as it is reinforcing its commitment to ensuring accessibility and freedom of movement throughout Sochi with the installation of 370 Vimec systems.

In order to share our experience in the field with our partners, we are developing a dedicated website aimed at reinforcing our partnerships with our dealers around the world.

The project is currently in progress, and the website’s publication will be announced in the near future.

Vimec’s relationships with its dealers are based on a successful teamwork model, which the company intends to reinforce by encouraging the exchange of information and experiences.

Car sharing: a service for everyone

Car sharing is becoming an increasingly popular service, both for getting around in the city, as well as for pleasure trips, like vacations. In fact, in large cities, where public transport is efficient and readily available, people are increasingly choosing not to own a car, and instead to make use of rental services whenever they might need one.

Car sharing is likewise becoming increasingly popular among people who are visiting cities on business or vacation, after having arrived by air or by train.

Autonomy and independence are needs shared by all. People with disabilities often find themselves having to depend upon others, and having to ask for help for even small journeys, like travelling just a few km by car.

For this reason, many Italian municipalities are launching car sharing services with drivers dedicated to people with disabilities, or are offering rental cars with special controls suitable for those who are able to drive on their own.

In Milan, for example, the Easy Move rental car and driver service has expanded its fleet to include cars and buses equipped for transporting people with mobility problems. The drivers are specialized in the transport of people with disabilities, and, despite having registered offices in Milan, the service is nevertheless available all over Italy 24/7.

In January of 2017, a major car sharing project for the disabled, titled “Guido io”, was launched in Palermo, the concept of which was entirely different from that of Milan. In fact, it’s a car rental service that offers cars with special controls for people with disabilities who are able to drive on their own, and therefore don’t require a driver. This significant milestone makes Palermo the only Italian and European city to offer a car sharing service of this type for people with disabilities. The 4 cars will be operational as of 1 February, and will be rendered available to any users who may request them at various locations throughout the city.

These two different ways of improving the lives of people with disabilities are aimed at ensuring increasingly accessible mobility, and are two examples that we hope will be copied in other Italian cities and beyond, for a “world that’s truly accessible to everyone”!

The ECOVimec: the electric homelift with a modern design

Safety, simplicity, quality, savings, and environmental sustainability are principles that are increasingly being applied in the field of modern construction, whether we’re talking about new builds or renovations.

In the residential construction sector, there’s an increasing demand for dwellings designed and manufactured according to the latest criteria, with a particular focus upon the use of quality accessories and the choice of the raw materials, in order to ensure safe and reliable use over time.

An increasing amount of attention is also being paid to the design of the home, with a greater demand for modern styles.

A personal taste in interior décor has assumed greater importance, thus resulting in a new form of aesthetics that draws inspiration from the past, while at the same time allowing itself to be influenced by unusual shapes and materials.

Modern homes are mainly characterised by certain specific aspects: they tended to have wide open spaces, where areas with different functions merge and come together; the spaces are arranged so as to render them as functional as possible; there are plays on natural and artificial light; the contours and depths give even the most compact surfaces an unprecedented ampleness, as well as maximum usability and accessibility.

IMG 2505

The electric ECOVimec liftis the perfect solution for ensuring the accessibility of a private dwelling with two or more floors, without compromising its aesthetics, and instead bringing added value to the home itself while accentuating its character.

Thanks to its simple contours, carefully selected materials, and meticulous craftsmanship, the safe, reliable, and environmentally friendly ECOVimec lift can be perfectly integrated into any home with a modern design.

  • There are various types of doors to choose from, and the customer can even combine different models, in order to obtain the style that’s best suited to the installation environment: panoramic aluminium doorsautomated two-leaf glass doors, and even simple blind doors with windows. It is possible to choose a different door for each individual floor station, based on the style of the surrounding environment.
  • The walls of the cabin can be personalised with your preferred colours from the RAL range, or else with the standard available colours; the choice of glass walls provides for greater transparency and luminosity, and renders all the spaces visible. For high-tech environments, on the other hand, the stainless steel cabin is an almost mandatory aesthetic choice..
  • The floor of the cabin can be adapted to the style of the home by choosing from among the standard colours of light or dark grey non-slip Safestep flooring, for environments with neutral colours, or by choosing the option that allows the same flooring finish as the surrounding environment to be used within the cabin itself.
  • Since it doesn’t require a special technical compartment to house a power unit and motor, the ECOVimec homelift can even be installed in confined spaces. All the moving parts and control elements are contained within the compartment, while the oil-free electric motor is positioned below, and guarantees quiet functionality..

The range of Vimec homelifts has been enriched with new featuresarch

A Vimec homelift gives greater value to the living environment, and for solutions in particularly narrow spaces, three-leaf telescopic doors are now available.

This possibility allows the Vimec homelift to be used with maximum ease, with a greater door span for improved accessibility, all without compromising the available space in the hallways or rooms.

Among the various customisation possibilities available for Vimec homelifts, the three-leaf door ensures a more prestigious and cutting-edge system for the home.

Furthermore, Vimec home lifts are always made to measure in order to guarantee maximum safety for the entire family (both for people in search of greater comfort, as well as for the elderly and people with disabilities), not to mention reliabilitycomfort and elegance, all in perfect harmony with the colours and finishes of the home itself.

Vimec has sales consultants in every Italian province, who are always available to recommend the ideal solutions to meet your home mobility needs.

Chair stairlift for straight staircases

You’ll never have any more problems overcoming a straight flight of stairs inside or outside your home.

The Ischia model chair stairlift provides for ease and freedom of movement between the various floors of the home; in fact, this model is designed to overcome a straight flight of stairs, and can be quickly and easily installed.

Three characteristics render our Ischia model chair stairlift entirely unique:

  1. Rapid availability after the order: in fact, straight staircases to not require any particular interventions, which would extend the delivery and installation times.
  2. Collapsible guide rail: the chair stairlift’s guide rail can be modified so that the last extremity of the guide rail itself is able to be collapsed, thus further reducing its encumbrance while the chair is not in use, and allowing any doors that may be in the vicinity of the staircase to be closed, for example.
  3. Sliding guide rail: the chair’s guide rail slides on a track, the length of which is decided based on the requirements and the available space.

The Ischia chair stairlift is also equipped with all the comforts and accessories necessary to ensure maximum safety and ease of use on the part of the user:

  • the joystick on the armrest renders the chair stairlift particularly easy to use;
  • the practical floor call remote control allows the chair to be called to the desired floor in the case of multiple users;
  • the lever for rotating the seat allows the user to exit the chair quickly and easily upon reaching the destination floor;
  • the height of the armrests and the seat can be adjusted based on the user’s needs;
  • the Ischia model chair stairlift does not require any structural interventions for installation;
  • an outdoor version is also available, which is made from particularly weather-resistant materials.

Accessible condominiums, with the V65 and V64 platform stairlifts

Accessibility at condominiums is often difficult due to the presence of staircases or the absence of lifts in order to allow people with disabilities to reach the building’s various apartments.

It is often necessary to overcome several outdoor steps in order to reach the entry, and people with disabilities are often unable to do this independently and without considerable difficulty. In some cases, the structure of the condominium itself precludes the possibility of installing a lift in order to reach the various floors of the building.

Vimec’s platform stairlift’s are specially designed to resolve every type of accessibility problem in all kinds of condominiums, whether for accessing the building’s entrance or overcoming the flights of stairs between the various floors.

The two different models available are designed to be installed on various types of staircases: the V64 is suitable for straight staircases, while the V65 is equipped with a curved guide rail.

Both models have characteristics and features that make them perfect for any type of installation:

  • they can be installed both indoors and outdoors, and in the latter case they come complete with a weatherproof tarp;
  • their compact size and various wall or step anchoring possibilities render them suitable for any type of environment, without diminishing its style or elegance;
  • they come with removable keys in order to ensure that they will only be used by authorised individuals in possession of an activation key, thus minimising the risk of damage due to vandalism or improper use;
  • the built-in panel makes the stairlift simple and practical to use: no training is required, and it can even be used by guests with no need for the owner’s assistance.

Vimec homelifts: comfort and accessibility in various environments

Vimec offers a wide range of homelifts, which represent ideal solutions for all kinds of remodelling or renovation projects, whether for private homescondominiums or public places.

All Vimec’s homelift models have characteristics and features capable of meeting any type of requirement:

  • Versatility: they can be installed either indoors or outdoors, even in the absence of a masonry shaft; thanks to the custom-designed support structure. Installation is fast, and does not require any structural interventions.
  • Comfort: they’re quiet and discreet, and can be used safely and conveniently thanks to their advanced technical features.
  • Flexibility: for installations in particularly tight spaces, solutions with telescopic cabin doors and floor doors are available: safe, lightweight, and quiet.
  • Exclusivity: exclusive design and functionality, thanks to the use of custom and personalised solutions that allow the lift to be installed in perfect harmony with its environment.

The EcoVimec and Easy Move homelifts are perfect combinations of technology and design.

The EcoVimec model is an electricenvironmentally-friendly, and high-tech homelift that offers innovative solutions for the entire market. Thanks to its reduced energy consumption and wide range of customisation possibilities, customers can create truly exclusive and customised solutions. View the product datasheet.

The Easy Move model is a durable hydraulic lift that’s quick to install and guarantees maximum safety. View the product datasheet.

Both solutions boast over fifty thousand installations worldwide in various environments, like universities, city halls, swimming pools, theatres, undergrounds, and private homes.

Vimec has consultants in every Italian province to provide suggestions and indications regarding the technical and fiscal aspects of our products.

Visit the gallery to discover all the characteristics of our homelifts and their various installation possibilities.

The chair stairlift: the solution you’ve been looking for

Vimec chair stairlifts facilitate the movements of people with disabilities and mobility problems, and allow everyone to independently enjoy their homes in complete safety.

For which types of staircases are they suitable?

  • Straight staircases
  • Staircases with multiple flights

They can be installed either indoors or outdoors.

In order to identify and design the chair stairlift that’s best suited to your needs and the structure of your home, it is necessary to conduct an on-site inspection, free of charge and with absolutely no commitment.

Montascale a poltroncina Ischia
Ischia model Capri Model Elba Model
  • Does the chair stairlift’s installation require extra work interventions?

The chair stairlift is custom-designed to fit the staircase in your home. This renders the installation procedure simple, with no need for structural interventions.

The guide rail upon which the chair stairlift moves can be anchored to either the wall or the steps, based on the specific requirements. Once the installation has been completed, the technicians will conduct the necessary tests in order to make sure that the system is working properly.

  • Is it safe to use?

The chair stairlift is a safepractical, and easy to use solution. The controls on the armrest make each movement convenient and automatic: the swivel seat allows the user to effortlessly climb in and out, with maximum ease.

  • Who can I contact to order one?

Vimec has consultants everywhere in United Kingdom, and is always at your complete disposal for any doubts or clarifications you may have, free of charge and with absolutely no commitment. This will allow you to evaluate the characteristics of your staircase, and determine the solution that’s best suited to your home.

Fill out the yellow form, and you’ll be contacted as soon as possible!

The stairclimber best suited to your needs

Vimec has been designing, manufacturing, and installing custom solutions for individuals since 1982. Vimec has the right product for every movement and transport requirement.

Here we’ll be talking about mobile stairclimbers, and we’ll help you choose the right product based on the characteristics of the home in which it will be installed and utilised.

Straight staircase, rectangular landings: discover the T09-Roby

The Roby model is the tracked mobile stairclimber that ranks first in terms of both comfort and safety.

Designed and built to overcome straight staircases and staircases with square or rectangular landings,it allows the operator to transport the wheelchair passenger in complete safety.

There’s no risk of damaging the stairs thanks to the special characteristics of the tracks, which ensure excellent traction without leaving any marks. The Roby model’s high quality is ensured by the following characteristics: a smooth ride on the stairs, outstanding ergonomics and ease of use while moving on flat surfaces, and excellent accessibility and sturdiness.

The Roby model guarantees an autonomy of 23 flights of stairs. The safety system ensures that the battery’s charge level will never drop below 8-10%.

Narrow staircase, small landings: The T10-Scalacombi is right for you

The Scalacombi model is a wheeled mobile stairclimber with a safe and practical design for people who have difficulty climbing stairs.

With the assistance of an operator, the Scalacombi model can be used to ascend and descend staircases in complete safety.

Ideal for considerably narrow staircases (min. 550 mm) with small landings (min. 80 cm) and/or with fan-shaped steps, the Scalacombi model is capable of overcoming slopes of up to 55°.

The safety and reliability features allow the assistant to operate the unit effortlessly, and allow the passenger to overcome the staircase in complete comfort, in both directions.

The unit’s patented transmission with softstep function allows the unit to ascend and descend each individual step in an extraordinarily gentle manner.

Vimec high quality at your service

All the characteristics of Vimec’s mobile stairclimbers are designed to meet the needs of both the passenger and the operator, thus ensuring effortless transport in maximum comfort.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more about products: the Vimec consultants will be happy to help you find the solution best suited to your needs, with a free on-site inspection and price quote.

Accessible Tourism

We all know the meaning of the word “trip”: we like to associate it with positive feelingsfreedomdiscoveryexploration and relaxation.

However, travelling isn’t always that easy for everyone.

There are entire categories of people with more or less evident limitations for whom travel is not so straightforward: these include the blind, the visually impaired, the hard of hearing, the deaf, people with mental disabilities, and people in wheelchairs, as well as the elderly. Even those with “simple” dietary intolerances can have difficulties!

We like the definition of “accessible tourism” proposed by the “First White paper on Tourism for Everyone in Italy”: The term “Accessible Tourism” refers to the combination of services and structures that allow “people with special needs” to enjoy vacation and leisure activities in a gratifying way, without any obstacles or difficulties, and therefore under conditions of complete safetyautonomy, and comfort.

Awareness in Italy

In comparison to other European countries, Italy is not exactly at the forefront in terms of accessible tourism.

The main limitations are linked to the numerous architectural barriers.

One explanation for their presence lies in the fact that Italian cities often have ancient origins: the narrow streets, historic buildings, and bridges were designed and built centuries ago, when there was no awareness of this problem. These historic buildings are subject to conservation constraints, which sometimes make it difficult to carry out  restoration work  that takes the needs of people with various types of disabilities into account.

Awareness is on the rise, however, and things are increasingly beginning to move in the direction of accessible tourism. Several examples are provided below:

  • Buses: major Italian cities are upgrading their fleets of buses with models equipped with platforms for allowing access to passengers in wheelchairs.
  • Railway stations: dedicated personnel are present at certain Large Railway Stations identified by Ferrovie dello Stato in order to assist people with various types of disabilities.
  • Trains: the High Speed trains and new regional trains that have recently become operational are equipped with wheelchair platforms.
  • Urban roadssidewalks with tactile pathways for the visually impaired are becoming increasingly common throughout Italy. An increasing number of pedestrian traffic lights are equipped with audible signalling devices.

Small measures for rendering places accessible

As we have seen, the public sector is taking its first steps to promote unfettered access throughout the country, thus reducing the existing difficulties.

However, there are many small steps to be taken in the private sector as well. Several small measures that can be taken to improve the travel experience in general are listed below:

  • For Hotels
    • Install non-slip flooring
    • Eliminate the doorsteps for accessing rooms or balconies
    • Provide ample free room for the movement of wheelchairs

  • For restaurant
    • Use different kitchen utensils for meat and fish
    • Clearly indicate the allergens present in the menu items
  • For public places
    • Install inclined platforms next to the stairs for accessing the various rooms
    • Increase the use of descriptive texts in Braille
    • Render guides available who are fluent in sign language

Never give up

The goal of accessible tourism is a major challenge for the future, one in which the various actors must work together to guarantee an essential right that’s often taken for granted:

Enjoy vacation and leisure activities in a gratifying way, without any obstacles or difficulties, and therefore under conditions of complete safety, autonomy, and comfort.

The determination of people with disabilities should serve as an example for everyone to seek out solutions to their needs. Never give up!

Swimming pools are for everyone

The law protects the right of all people with mild or permanent disabilities to engage in sports activities.

In fact, Italian Ministerial Decree no. 236/89 requires all areas intended for sports activities to be accessible to people with disabilities. The buildings and their individual areas must have entrances suitable for allowing access by people with reduced mobility or sensory disabilities.

In addition to ensuring accessibility, is also necessary to guarantee the possibility of using all the areas and equipment.

A significant amount of design headroom is provided in order to ensure perfect accessibility to the sports facilities, with the exception of a few binding elements: e.g. for the design or renovation of public buildings in general, at least one lavatory for the disabled must be included on each floor.

How to make a swimming pool accessible

When designing or renovating a swimming pool, it is necessary to ensure adequate accessibility for:

  • Car parks
  • Main entrances
  • Horizontal and vertical pathways
  • Lavatories and changing rooms
  • Pool entries

For blind or visually impaired individuals, it is necessary to provide a tactile pathway in relief connecting the various areas of the facility.

For people in wheelchairs, any minor height gaps must be eliminated using ramps with handrails. In the case of major height gaps, lifts or platforms must be installed.

The installation of handrails and non-slip flooring in general will serve to ensure greater safety for all.

In order to access the pools, individuals must have the possibility of using stairs, ramps or lifts, depending on the severity of their disabilities. Ramps and stairs must always have handrails.

All corners and edges must be rounded.

It is recommended for steps and ramps to be in contrasting colours, in order to ensure greater visibility for the visually impaired. The lanes in the pool should be separated by ropes.

The benefits of aquatic sports activities

Swimming and aquatic rehabilitation activities are generally recommended to people with disabilities by physicians.

Aquatic sports activities offer several major advantages for people with physical limitations: thanks to the extra support provided by the water, less weight needs to be borne by compromised body parts, and this allows for greater freedom of movement. A therapist, however, must always be present in order to assist of the individual.

The benefits associated with these types of activities are listed below:

  • Reduced pain
  • Greater range of movement
  • Improved posture

Anyone can get involved in sports: the example of the Paralympic athletes

There is an increasing amount of awareness of sports for people with disabilities.

The Paralympic Games have been held since 1960, and are attracting an increasing number of spectators each time around. The games provide a venue for athletes with varying degrees of physical disabilities to compete in every sport.

Swimming has always been part of the Paralympic Games. The athletes are divided into categories based on their type of disability, which can also be multiple.

The competitors include athletes missing one or more limbs, athletes suffering from paralysis, and athletes with vision problems: nobody is precluded from participating in competitive sports activities!

Extreme sports for the disabled

There is an increasing amount of awareness of sports for people with disabilities. This is in part to help regain limb mobility in the case of temporary disabilities, as well as to simply stay in shape.

Many people also dedicate themselves to more intense sports activities, such as Paralympic athletes: nobody is precluded from participating in competitive sports activities!

Few people realise that many people with disabilities love to engage in extreme sports.

From the “classics”…

Rugby is a perfect example of a “classic” extreme sport. There is a strict set of rules for wheelchair rugby: the wheelchairs must be manual; the athletes mustn’t touch one another, but the wheelchairs are free to make contact; notably, the teams, consisting of four athletes each, can be mixed.

Another classic yet physically demanding sport is skiing. Skiing enthusiasts with lower limb disabilities usually engage in this sport using custom “monoski” devices. One notable testimonial for this sport is provided by race car driver Alex Zanardi.

After the tragic accident in which he lost his legs, this remarkable athlete continues to engage in numerous physically demanding sports: in addition to having returned to race car driving, he has also become a Paralympic champion in the sport of handbiking, a type of cycling where the vehicle is powered by the arms rather than the legs.

… to actual extreme sports!

For disabled people who love the mountains, there’s the possibility of doing actual rockclimbing. Thanks to the use of specially adapted wheelchairs and the accompaniment of qualified personnel, those who have lost the use of their legs can still experience the thrill of climbing to the peak of a mountain!

For an ever greater adrenaline rush, they can even go skydiving! This activity must be performed with the assistance of an instructor, who will provide the harness for making the jump together. Upon reaching the ground, the instructor handles the landing using his/her own legs.

Why not even try freestyle? Thanks to special wheelchairs equipped with safety belts and helmets, people with disabilities can take on circuits quite similar to those used for skateboarding competitions! The only difference is that they’re on a wheelchair instead of a skateboard.

Never give up!

The world sports offers countless possibilities for people with various types of disabilities, even major ones. There are sports for all tastes, from the more “laid-back” and “classic” categories, to the extreme sports that most able-bodied people won’t even try.

Why should someone deprive themselves of an exciting experience just because they’re disabled?

Unlike the obstacles that one continuously encounters in daily life, there are truly no limits in sports.

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