Over the years, IKEA has been providing many solutions to the furniture needs of people across the globe. A new release from the Scandinavian furniture manufacturer is a huge step up for furniture catering to people with disabilities.
IKEA has partnered with Israeli nonprofits Milbat and Access Israel in developing accessories that make their products compliant to accessibility needs. They call their campaign "This Ables". As of the moment, there are 13 different interventions that the team has published in which users can download, 3-D print, and install in their own homes in any part of the world.
Some of these interventions include bumpers for glass panes on cabinets, couch lifts, and an oversized button for lamps.
According to the accounts of end-users, most furniture manufacturers do not consider disability as a factor. While this is not a crime, people with disabilities yearn to feel that they can conduct themselves comfortably, especially in their own homes.
Surveys have revealed that one of every 10 persons is disabled. Yet, there is a noticeable shortage of products that cater to the needs of persons with disabilities.
Thus, the ThisAbles campaign is one way to reach out to those with special needs. The program started with IKEA inviting people with disabilities into their store to work with engineers and designers in coming up with a better understanding and solution to their needs.
The program has yielded 13 new products, each with a different function that could help with the needs of customers with disabilities or accessibility issues.
The aforementioned couch lift is an 8-cm couch leg that can be installed under regular sofas so that people with disabilities would be able to sit down or stand up without struggling. Another example of a ThisAbles product is a bumper that is installed across the glass panes on cabinets so that when it is bumped into, both the dresser and the person with the disability would be protected. Another one is the oversized buttons that can be installed for switches and lamps to aid those with the condition that hinders them from having precise finger movements. Special handles are also designed to help users grasp shower curtains and cabinets with ease.
IKEA stores are now offering these products, going through the length of even showcasing them in an area of their stores they call "Accessible living spaces". The models, which can be 3-D printed, are also made available is the furniture company project's website ThisAbles.com.
The goal for IKEA and the nonprofit organizations that it partnered with is to help persons with disabilities feel comfortable in their own home like everyone else.