Who Designs These Things?Woman in the Middle | September 10, 2012
Youngest Daughter moved back to college this past weekend. She is living in what her school calls the “suites” but I call an apartment. As far as I can tell it has every attribute of an apartment except for an oven, so whatever its name, I will refer to it as an apartment.
Last year she lived on the second floor in a four person apartment. It was set up well and had lots of storage including a storage room by the front door that was so big it could have been the bedroom of a fifth roommate. Mind you there were other issues last year, but everyone who went to college has the crazy roommate story, right?
This year she is in an apartment on the first floor. All first floor apartments are designed to be “handicapped accessible.” That is perfectly fine, except there are some things that just make no sence, especially if you are handicapped. It leaves a mother to wonder, who designs these things????
1. There are no cabinets under the kitchen sink or adjacent counter, so a person in a wheelchair can roll right up to the sink. Mind you, the sink is still at the normal height, so I have to wonder if a person in a chair would be able to use the sink, but they would be able to get nice and close to it!!
2. There are cabinets under the stove, so I guess it is important for the handicapped person to reach the sink, but not their food on the stove.
3. The bathroom has absolutely no storage except for a medicine cabinet up over the sink, which a person in a wheelchair could never reach. The sink is just that, a sink, and has no counter space on either side of it. So, this has led me to the conclusion that whoever designed the bathroom thinks that handicapped people have no need for either storage or counter space in a bathroom. Huh? YD’s roommate’s mother bought them a set of plastic shelves, thank goodness. Wouldn’t a person in a wheelchair have just as much need for bathroom storage as anyone else?
4. The bedroom came with a small dresser with four shallow drawers. It came with a crazy long closet, with a bar at normal height. It came with a desk with no drawers, except for one shallow one in the middle. So, again, I have to conclude that the person who designed the bedroom, combined with the person who bought the furniture, thought that a person in a wheelchair does not need storage because, somehow, they are going to hang all of their clothes in a closet that is out of their reach. They also have no need for desk storage as, I guess, they will be putting all of their desk things in one shallow drawer or on top of the desk.
5. The livingroom is the smallest room in the apartment and it is filled with large furniture. There is a loveseat, an oversized chair, a coffee table, and two end tables, in a room the size of a postage stamp. A person in a wheelchair would have to ask for most of the furniture to be removed just to be able to get into the room. And, really, what college student needs a coffee table?
In conclusion, a mother did not design the apartment my YD is now residing in. Handicapped accessible? Maybe. Handicapped usable? Heck no!