RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
The Next Fight: Richard referred to the "hidden" disability. As the population ages, there will be more people with age-related disabilities, i.e. vision loss, hearing loss, strength and endurance. There is a movement, starting with a workshop in Washington DC at the end of September, to include low-vision in the ADA.
Why is this important? Currently energy codes restrict the amount of energy that can be used for lighting in commercial buildings and public spaces. As people age they require higher levels of light to see with the same acuity as a younger person (between two to three times higher). Unfortunately, the energy code is based on lighting needs of young people.
When low-vision is included in the ADA, it will be easier to make the case for higher light levels and better quality of light (eliminate glare and provide even and consistent light levels) in the workplace and public buildings for older people.
Currently the fight is on here in Oregon: The state is in the process of updating regulations for Memory Care Communities (Alzheimer's and dementia care units). Part of the new regulations addresses lighting quantity and quality to meet the needs of the residents (average age 70 - 85) of these facilities. Although, this sounds like common sense, some of the care providers are fighting against the lighting requirements, while others are in strong support of the changes. Marge Coalman, EdD, VP Wellness & Programs for Touchmark stated, "The greatest benefit in my opinion is realizing that a life so compromised by an unwelcome and uninvited dementia illness can be improved by something as simple as appropriate lighting."
We are hoping that common sense does prevail and that the State adopts the proposed regulations. If not, when low vision becomes part of the ADA, the argument will be over and all care facilities in Oregon and the nation will be forced to comply.
posted 2 years, 10 months ago
view in context