Understanding What It Means for Your School System to Be Accessible for All

As you start planning for the 2018-2019 school year, it may be the perfect time to evaluate how accessible your campus is for all students, especially if the building is older. To help you determine where you can make improvements and suggestions to do so, here are a few tips to help you get started.

Access: Whether your school has outgrown its building, it was built before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), or you’re simply in need of a new solution, we can help! All students must be provided the same access whether they have a disability or not, including access to a theater stage and portable buildings. Our TITAN™ Code Compliant Modular Access System is durable and adaptable to fit where you need it.

It’s All in the Details: Sometimes it’s the little things that are overlooked and that’s understandable, but to someone who lives with a disability, the difference between feeling included and being forgotten could be that little, overlooked detail. Here are some tips to remember:

  1. Leave a lower coat or backpack hook for wheelchair users.
  2. Make sure heavy doors have automatic openers and that they properly work.
  3. Classroom furniture should be arranged so that students can easily move throughout the room.

Playgrounds: Students shouldn’t have to be sidelined from playing and interacting with their peers due to their disability. If you’re considering a playground reconstruction, consider using a hard rubber surface so it’s easier to navigate on wheels compared to rocks and woodchips. Design a playground with wide ramps and platforms and possibly a platform swing so that all students can play together and easily access each area of the playground.

For questions about how our team at EZ-ACCESS can help your school become more accessible using our solutions, contact us here.

Thump, Thump, Thump. It’s American Heart Month – Easy Ways to Start Taking Care of Your Heart

With a new year started and it being American Heart Month, is there really a better time to begin working towards the goal of becoming more heart healthy? We don’t think so! If this has been a goal of yours, we’ve got a few tips and tricks to share in order to help you get on the right track during American Heart Month.

Evaluate Your Eating: If you’re consuming high amounts of sugar and saturated fats, you may need to stop and reevaluate your diet. Start by creating a food diary. Track what you eat for one week, and then make refinements from there. Are you indulging in dessert every evening? Do you stop for a carbonated beverage each day before heading into work? Notice vegetables are missing from your diet? Now is a great time to change up your eating habits once you have identified what needs to be taken out and what may need to be added. It may not be easy, but it’ll be worth it.

Get Active: Start with 30 minutes a day. It’s really as simple as taking a walk around your neighborhood or cleaning your home, like vacuuming and dusting. Each week, tack on a few more minutes to your workout routine to help build stamina and get your blood pumping. After a few weeks of consistent movement and working out, you’ll start to notice the effects of being active and heart healthy.

Go to Sleep: Now here’s a tip we can all get behind! Depriving yourself of the recommended six to eight hours of sleep a night can take its toll on your heart. If your body does not receive the proper amount of sleep it needs, your metabolism can slow down, which then effects how you lose weight. If you’re looking to develop better sleep habits, consider doing the following:

  • Cut out caffeine after a certain time of day.
  • Establish a nightly routine.
  • Start exercising.

Visit Your Doctor: While you should be doing this on an annual basis, make an appointment with your doctor for a check-up to ensure great heart health. Your doctor can provide more treatment plans and medication if necessary to help you reach your heart health goals.

We hope you take these tips and apply them to your life. We know changing your lifestyle for the better can be a trying task but with the right support and determination, you can enjoy the new you in 2018!

Source: The American Heart Association

Winter Safety in the Workplace: Three Tips to Ensure Your Worksite Is Safe This Winter

It’s safe to say that a good majority of the U.S. has experienced some chilly weather this season, including the south. If your business goals for 2018 include workplace safety, then you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to help you better protect yourself and employees as winter continues to hit certain areas with full force.

Work Platforms:  TITAN™ platforms, steps, and ramps can be configured to create a work platform for machinery so that you never have to worry about finding a ladder or accessing machinery in an unsafe manner. This product has been reinforced for added strength, and features an extruded slip-resistant surface to ensure safety.

TITAN platforms and steps can also be constructed to create a safe crossover on a worksite. Tripping hazards can be prevented by directing individuals up and over cords, pipes, equipment, and other obstructions on the floor.

Protecting Your Stairs and Sidewalks: Stairs can be a hazard to some from the start, but throw in a little ice and some snow and now you have a real problem. If you’re looking for overhead protection from the elements in all seasons for users of your FORTRESS® OSHA Stair System, we suggest adding a canopy to the top.

Another tip: Always make sure to have shovels and ice melt on hand to help keep sidewalks and walkways clear of ice and snow. Wearing proper footwear on the worksite can also help provide better traction in slippery conditions.

Be Safe on the Road: When you and your employees are driving from one location to another, it’s important to remember winter road safety. You’ll want to ensure you have jumper cables, reflective triangles, a first aid kit, and an ice scraper on hand for any winter roadblocks you may run into.

We hope winter has been a safe season for you so far and that it continues to be with these tips. If you’re using an EZ-ACCESS access solution in the outdoor elements this winter, be sure to reference our winterizing ramps blog for tips on how to keep your ramp accident-free this season.

To learn more about our access solutions for portable worksite buildings, visit our website here.

Precious Cargo: Tips for Loading and Unloading Your Equipment

While it may not be an actual baby on board, we know the equipment you’re hauling is important to you. While transporting your precious cargo is one thing, we know loading and unloading equipment can be a different beast. To help ensure your loading and unloading processes are smooth, you’ll want to remember these tips.

Tip No. 1: Prepare Your Trailer or Truck for the Haul.

Whether the trip is short or long, it’s important to take the right precautions when it comes to transporting your equipment. Don’t forget things like tie-down straps, blankets to prevent rubbing, and if you’re pulling a trailer, don’t forget to check all of your connections to ensure lights work properly.

Tip No. 2: Loading Safely

You should always aim to load on a flat, level surface to prevent rolling or movement of the trailer. You should never lift more than you can handle to prevent strain and injury. Be sure to utilize a ramp like the TRAVERSE™ Singlefold Edgeless Ramp or the TRAVERSE™ Walk Ramp. These can easily be put in place to eliminate elevated surfaces such as truck beds or trailers by creating an inclined surface. They can also handle various sized loads, making them the perfect loading solution.

Tip No. 3: Getting to Your Destination

Make sure everything is secured for transport before taking off. You wouldn’t want anything to fall over or break during your trip. Heed caution when driving and turning, and always use your signals to indicate to other drivers that you may be slowing down or changing lanes.

Tip No. 4: Unloading Safely

Whew! You’ve made it to your destination, everything stayed in place and it’s been a smooth ride. Let’s continue that by using your TRAVERSE Singlefold Edgeless or Walk Ramp to unload your precious cargo. Just like when you were loading, these tips can help keep your from straining yourself and causing injury. Simply put your ramp into place and use your dolly or team to help move lawn mowers, furniture, four-wheelers, and anything else you may need to transport.

Loading and unloading your truck or trailer doesn’t have to be a worrisome hassle with the right equipment and safety precautions. To learn more about the great benefits the TRAVERSE line of products can provide you, make sure to visit our website.

Your Passport to Independence: How to Utilize our PASSPORT® Vertical Platform Lift

“Ding! You are now free to move about the country.”

While you may not be taking on the whole country, you can reclaim your independence with our PASSPORT Vertical Platform Lift, an easy-to-use solution for accessing raised entry points such as a porch or deck. But before you unbuckle your seat belt and start taking on the world – it’s time to learn how to make the most of our PASSPORT. Sit back and relax as we make our final descent to your destination.

The Destination Doesn’t Matter: Did you know the PASSPORT isn’t just designed for your front porch? That’s right, you can place the PASSPORT at whatever access point you use most. Don’t leave through the front door? Place it in your garage. It works just as great, especially when higher rises and/or tight spaces are present and it gets you to your desired destination much faster.

Forget the Heavy Luggage: The PASSPORT is one of the most lightweight products of its kind on the market, which means no overweight bag fees need to be paid. Being lightweight makes it possible for a one person install. The lift is also fairly easy to relocate if your first stop was just the connection.

Please Turn Your Attention to the Screen in Front of You: The PASSPORT is easy to install and even easier to use, which you can see in the video below.

For Your Safety We Ask That You Place Your Chair and Tray Tables in the Upright Position: Much like an airplane that deters away from an unsafe landing, the PASSPORT will do the same. If something is blocking the platform from downward travel, the lift will stop immediately. The lift will still be operational in the upward direction, but the object or obstruction must be cleared to resume downward travel. We like to maintain safety as the number one priority while the PASSPORT is in use and the obstruction detector is a must have.

We know you have many options when it comes to reclaiming your independence but from those of us at EZ-ACCESS, we thank you for traveling with us today. We encourage you to continue using your PASSPORT for a lifetime of independence.

Danger Zone: Tips to Take Bathroom Safety to the Next Level

More danger lurks in the bathroom than most people think.

Stop for a moment and envision you’re in your bathroom – the shower is running but part of the shower curtain isn’t in the tub and water is pooling where you get out of the shower. You turn, and you notice the toilet is low to the ground so you know you’re going to struggle getting up, causing strain to your body. As you get into the shower, you slip on the slick surface and there’s nothing to safely grab a hold of. After regaining your stability, you find yourself getting fatigued in the shower. You reach for your shampoo and soaps, but there’s no handy or easily accessible place to store them.

While the first thing that comes to mind may not be “danger”, that’s what these scenarios can potentially turn into. If you’re ready to step up your bathroom safety game, consider these levels of safety to implement in your own home.

Level 1: Add a walk-in shower or ditch the shower curtain and opt for a door. If it’s a struggle to climb in and out of the tub or you’re always fretting over the shower curtain, it may be time to add a walk in shower or replace the shower curtain with a shatterproof glass door. This solution can keep water from pooling where you get out and eliminate one of the lurking dangers in the bathroom.

Level 2: Add a TILT® Toilet Incline Lift. People over 85 years old sustain more than 50 percent of their injuries near the toilet. It’s no surprise that a toilet can be a source of danger when getting on and off can be a strain. Adding a TILT to your toilet helps alleviate the struggle of getting up and down, providing a sense of security for the user.

Level 3: Add grab bars or other stability increasing measures. Bathtubs and showers come with various dangers and slipping accounts for almost 20 percent of bathroom injuries. Adding grab bars in and around the bathtub can help provide balance and stability to those who need it.

Level 4: Add an EZ-ACCESSORIES® Universal Bather to your bath chair. Being in the shower can be fatiguing and having your shower chair or bench available will provide a place to rest but sometimes getting up and down to retrieve your shampoo can be even more of a struggle. Adding the EZ-ACCESSORIES Universal Bather allows you to have all of your bathing items within a safe reach.

Don’t let your bathroom become or remain a danger zone. By making a few modifications and installing a few helpful tools you can reduce the risks that lurk in your bathroom. Step out of the danger zone and step into a life of safety and security. For more information on bathroom safety visit our website.

Don’t Forget to Winterize Your Ramp: Tips for Winter Ramp Safety

Are you walking through a winter wonderland? Or more like skating through one with ice and chilly temperatures? While picturesque, we want to help you maintain a safe and accessible ramp and walkway this winter. Don’t forget to winterize your ramp with these simple tips.

  1. Prevention: Is the weatherman predicting a substantial snowfall or sleet in the coming days? Make the most of the time before the storm hits by applying solutions to prevent snow and ice accumulation. This will save you time and effort in the long run so you won’t have to worry and you can enjoy the snowfall.

 

  1. Ice Melt: Using things like certain salts and other ice melt products can help eliminate the ice and snow safely with minimal work on your part, so you have more time to enjoy the winter wonderland. However, avoid corrosive chemicals that can cause damage to your ramp.

Note: The information above is taken from Fact Sheet 707, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Maryland at College Park, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and was up-to-date at the time of this post.

*Sodium and calcium chloride are particularly damaging to newly poured concrete. Also, these chemicals should not be applied to brick or stone surfaces. Table adapted with permission from work of John Buckreis, Merrifield Gardens Nursery, Annandale, VA

  1. Brooms: Having a push broom on hand is also great for easily snow removal. A push broom will move snow faster as opposed to a traditional kitchen broom. Another bonus of using a broom? You won’t damage the ramp.
  2. Plastic Shovels: Metal on metal can be hard on the ears and even harder on your ramp. If you plan to shovel snow, make sure that you’re utilizing a plastic or rubber shovel. It gets the job done and helps prevent scratches or damages to your ramp.

Don’t let the ice and snow prevent you from using your ramp this winter and enjoying the season. If you have questions when it comes to caring for your ramp during the winter, please reach out to our friendly customer service team.

 

Planning for the New Year – Why Making Your Business More Handicap Accessible Should Be Top of the List!

The New Year is almost here and what an exciting time to make some changes for the betterment of yourself and/or your business! If you’re looking to make your business more accessibility-friendly, we have a few products and tips that can help you out with this New Year’s Resolution!

Resolution No. 1

Evaluate Your Entrances:

Taking a look at your entrances is a great starting point to determine what kind of accessibility solutions will be required. Are there stairs that can prevent someone from getting to your door? Is there enough space for a wheelchair to maneuver its way to the door and through the doorway? Is there a slope that’s too steep for someone to get up? These are all great questions to ask yourself.

Achieving Resolution No. 1:

With a few simple products like the TITAN™ Code Compliant Modular Access System, you can provide a seamless entry point for your customers. This system is low maintenance so it doesn’t have to be another worry while you run your business or welcome customers.

Resolution No. 2

Take a look at your door:

While opening a door may be a simple task for many, it’s important to consider the weight of the door and how easy it would be to open for someone using a wheelchair. One more thing to look at is the doorway threshold. Is it a significant height? Would it be a struggle for a wheelchair, scooter, or walker to navigate the threshold?

Achieving Resolution No. 2:

Adding one of our TRANSITIONS® entry mats can eliminate those tricky thresholds and help prevent the potential trip hazard they may pose. Designed to be slip resistant and easy to match up to your threshold, installing these mats should be no hassle at all. They blend so well, you’ll barely notice they’re there!

We understand that making your business completely accessible can seem like an overwhelming task while running your business, but with these few improvements, you’ll be marking resolutions off your list left and right. Cheers to a New Year and let us help you create a plan for improved accessibility here!

Forget Hibernation! Try these Three Tips to Staying Active this Winter

While it may not be as fun to stay active when the temperatures are colder and the sun sets so early, there are a few advantages when it comes to remaining active during the winter months. You don’t have to worry about the heat and humidity, you can boost your immunity during cold and flu season, and of course, maintain an active lifestyle. To learn how you can reap these benefits, take a look at these three tips for staying active during the season of chilly temperatures.

  1. Bundle Up: You don’t have to miss out on your brisk walks or trips outside just because the temps have dropped. Simply make sure you’re wearing the proper warm weather gear to hold in your body heat. Start with base layers such as thermals to trap body heat. Add your sweatshirts or jackets, followed by hats, scarves and gloves to keep every part of your body protected from those nippy temperatures. Make sure your layers are water-wicking as to not absorb moisture from snow or sleet.
  2. Turn Your Household Chores into a Full Body Workout: Thankfully, we don’t have to build a winter shelter, but taking care of your home can be a full body workout! Did you know that shoveling snow for 30 minutes can burn around 220 calories based on a body weight of 155 pounds? That’s right! Doing your household chores this winter can help you shed the pounds. If you don’t get snow in your neck of the woods, deep cleaning your home can burn the same amount of calories with effort exerted.
  3. Pick up a Winter Sport: Everyone agrees on the phrase “work hard play hard”, and there’s no better way to embrace the winter weather than by picking up a winter sport. While you don’t have to go the extreme sports route like snowboarding, there are plenty of other options such as sledding or cross country skiing. Try a hike or snowshoeing through the peaceful, snowy landscape. Are you a wheelchair user? You could join a winter sports team, like a wheelchair hockey team or sit skiing club. Not only do you have the chance to be outside and be active, but you can make new friends. 

No matter how you plan to stay active this winter, always remember to properly hydrate and wear the correct gear for whatever activity you may be partaking in. Have your own tips for staying active during the winter? Share them in the comments below!

Start Making the Grade When it comes to School Building Accessibility

Is it time for an educational assessment when it comes to your school’s accessibility? Don’t wait until summer break to start the lesson plans, now is the perfect time to make improvements around your campus.  Whether you’re looking for a ramp for wheelchair users or one to help with a set of stairs for younger students, we’re an A student when it comes to accessibility solutions and we have the perfect lesson for you.

Our TITAN™ Code Compliant Modular Access System is the correct answer and through its modular design, one of the most adaptable and durable systems on the market. Take a look at a few key features this system has:

  • Most Adaptable: While the TITAN System can change to meet your needs, you won’t find any fad trends here. Depending on the building, this system can be customized to the site. The components of this ramp are easy as ABC to install and configure. The ramps, platforms, and stairs can all be combined and configured to fit a variety of buildings, spaces, and access needs.

 

  • Most Likely to Be on Safety Patrol: This ramp system is all about safety and isn’t afraid to let others know about it either. We offer two or four inch high curbs, safety railings, and an optional lower handrail for younger students. No slipping and sliding here, the slip-resistant surface is designed to help provide increased traction during rainy or winter weather.

 

  • Biggest Rule Follower: The biggest rule follower, if there ever was one! The TITAN Code Compliant Modular Access System is in compliance with ADA, IBC, OSHA and most local code regulations. You won’t find this ramp in detention.

 

  • Most Likely To Succeed: Not to brag, but this ramp system knows it’s good. Like many of our other EZ-ACCESS products, the TITAN is built with the highest quality aluminum, which is corrosion-resistant, making it maintenance-free for many years of high traffic use. You won’t have to worry about rust, rot, deterioration, splinters, or having to replace it.

If you’re looking to continue your education with some after school tutorial sessions, visit our website here. Don’t forget, if you’re wanting to an A on that report card, be sure to contact some of our experts and star pupils here.

Class dismissed!