In a recent news release, the Ontario government announced an expansion of its dental care for seniors with specific emphasis on the renovating and constructing of new mobile dental clinics.
For whereas I commend and applaud this much needed initiative, sadly enough; someone appears to have forgotten to include accessibility requirements for seniors with special needs.
So I am going to take the liberty of making some recommendations.
When considering the renovation of or building of new mobile dental clinics: Seniors with physical disabilities must be accommodated if they are inwheelchairs, use walkers, or canes.
Mobile dental clinics need to have enough space to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. That is, doorways, entrances, and waiting rooms must be large enough to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.
There must be enough space between chairs in the waiting room in order to accommodate seniors with wheelchairs, walkers, and canes.
Seniors with service animals must be accommodated.
Seniors with vision impairments need to be able to identify the locations of mobile dental clinics through signs that are easy to find, identify and read.
Signs must be placed in strategic spots on the exteriors of these dental mobile clinics so that they can be easily seen.
The interiors of mobile dental clinics must be constructed in ways that provide contrasting colour schemes so that those with limited or low vision can easily identify walls, doors, and hallways.
The floors of mobile dental clinics must be made so that it is easy for seniors with wheelchairs, walkers, and canes to negotiate. That is, the ability to easily distinguish between carpeted and non-carpeted areas and the ability for those with wheelchairs and walkers to be able to navigate carpeted areas without having to be concerned about their devices being impeded.
Seniors who are deaf or hard of hearing need to be able to communicate without any acoustic interference when they are inside mobile dental clinics.
Mobile dental clinics must be located in areas that are easy to reach via public transportation, must be located along public transportation routes, and must be positioned so that there are the least number of obstacles to their front doors. Specifically from street car and/or bus to the front doors of the mobile dental clinic, and from parking lots to the front doors of the mobile dental clinic.
If mobile dental clinics are to be located in malls, then they should be located in areas that are as close as possible to entrances and exits of malls. If they are to be located in other types of buildings then they should also be placed in areas that are as close as possible to entrances and exits of said buildings.
Just my two cents for today.