How The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital Is Furthering our Patients’ Independence
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law on July 26, 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
While the law makes these areas of life accessible to those with disabilities, there is still a process for learning how to best navigate situations with a disability. Even everyday tasks like getting in and out of the car, boarding public transportation or getting around the house can be challenges that must be overcome.
At The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital, a big part of what we do is helping patients and their families learn to master activities of daily living, to transition from hospital to home smoothly and with more confidence.
The new Adaptive Recreation and Fine Arts Center on the hospital campus features a house with a living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom to allow patients to practice Activities of Daily Living in a home setting. It also hosts small versions of places in the community such as a store, café and concession stand, that patients and their families will experience upon discharge. A car and small school bus located in the facility offer essential transportation settings.
Chief of Rehabilitation and Education, Becky Vogt, says, “The house, transportation and community settings we have created in our facility offer patients and their families opportunities to build confidence, problem-solve and practice everything they need to before navigating potentially challenging situations independently.”
Becky explains that even rolling a wheelchair on different flooring surfaces, maneuvering into a dressing room in a retail store, or transferring to various restaurant seating options can require practice. The Center allows patients to work with their therapists and caregivers to find the best ways to manage these situations and more.
“The Americans with Disabilities Act was an important step towards accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and our goal is to build the confidence and skills needed for our patients to take full advantage of opportunities available to them,” she says.
The hospital plans to expand its adaptive recreation offerings with the completion of an adaptive ballfield, adaptive playground and splashpad in the near future.