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Revista Brasileira de Educação Especial

Print version ISSN 1413-6538


GASPAROTO, Mariana Capacci  and  ALPINO, Ângela Maria Sirena. Home accessibility assessment of children with physical disabilities. Rev. bras. educ. espec. [online]. 2012, vol.18, n.2, pp.337-354. ISSN 1413-6538.

A bio psychosocial approach to disabilities considers that failure results both from the interaction between dysfunction, limitation of activities and the individual's social participation constraints as environmental factors. The absence of appropriate environmental adjustments affects accessibility, performance and participation of individuals with physical disabilities (PD). The main objective of this study consisted in evaluating the home accessibility of children with PD. A checklist elaborated by the researchers was used in order to investigate architectural barriers, adaptations in the home and the children's needs for support. The checklist was filled in upon visits to the homes of five children who had limited mobility and used a wheelchair or walker. The reviews took an average of 50 minutes and enabled the researchers to see the children's accessibility and participation conditions at home. An absence of furniture and/or features adapted for children was identified, despite frequent indications of need for aid for locomotion, hygiene and clothing. Among the universal barriers that were evaluated, the predominant issues included uneven walkways, upward pathways and slick walking surfaces on the access routes, and inadequate door width to the bathroom. There was only one house in which circulation space was appropriate in all rooms. The knowledge of accessibility conditions and participation of the children enabled the researchers to propose relevant modifications/adaptations to those environments. Although the literature highlights the close relationship between accessibility, functionality, participation and life quality of people with physical disabilities, the study revealed the lack of surveys and specific instruments of evaluation related to accessibility of the home environment.

Keywords : Special Education; Accessibility; Evaluation; Physical disabilities; Home.

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