accessible life

Accessible Home Modifications in West Bloomfield, MI

Grey on grey on grey, and I love it! Nice work in progress. On This new #WestBloomfield project we were hired to transform our client's #home with a new #accessiblekitchen and  #Roll-InShower. 

I’ll post more updates and progress pics next week so stay tuned friends!!

Photos by me @BFA,llc

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Veterans Project in Westland, MI- Phase 1 and 2

Check out the progress!  

Phase I construction: Accessible Entrance done! 

Phase II construction: Accessible Bathroom has started this week! 

Do you have any questions for our team? 

Comment below or feel free to give us a call at (734)414-9525

#ada #adaforall.com#BFAllc,#accessible, #progress #Veterans,#accessibility#wheelchairaccessible #disability#seniors#veterans #als #ms#multiplesclerosis#familybusiness #rollinshower,#accessiblehome #bfallc #accessibility#adaforall #aginggracefully #aginginplace#sandwichgeneration #senioradults#homesafety

Accessible entrance ready for a ramp.

Accessible entrance ready for a ramp.

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Accessibility & Technology: Microsoft Xbox Adaptive Controllers

Technology is working alongside Accessibility more than ever.

Microsoft is coming out with adaptive Xbox controllers and we are all excited!

Watch the video bellow to see all the attachments you can use...

Designed primarily to meet the needs of gamers with limited mobility, the Xbox Adaptive Controller is a unified hub for devices that help make gaming more accessible. Connect external devices such as switches, buttons, mounts, and joysticks to create a custom controller experience that is uniquely yours.

Click here to go to Microsoft Xbox website.

 

According to Microsoft Story Labs page

" The new Xbox Adaptive Controller, which will be available later this year, can be connected to external buttons, switches, joysticks and mounts, giving gamers with a wide range of physical disabilities the ability to customize their setups. The most flexible adaptive controller made by a major gaming company, the device can be used to play Xbox One and Windows 10 PC games and supports Xbox Wireless Controller features such as button remapping. "
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There is a group of gamers who have tested these controllers. One of the gamers, Dan Bertholomey, is excited for the endless possibilities the controllers have. He now plans on competing again in eSports! 

Another gamer, Solomon Romney said,

"I can customize how I interface with the Xbox Adaptive Controller to whatever I want. If I want to play a game entirely with my feet, I can. I can make the controls fit my body, my desires, and I can change them anytime I want. You plug in whatever you want and go. It takes virtually no time to set it up and use it. It could not be simpler. I get to redesign my controller every day and get to choose how I want to play, Romney said. For me, that's the greatest thing ever." 

There is so much more to read and learn about the Xbox adaptive controllers.

I am very excited but really I am happy this FINALLY exists. Inclusivity matters. Sofia was thinking the same thing as me, It's about time!

Would you use these controllers? Have you made your own adaptive controller?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Virtual Reality and Accessiblity

Have you heard of Virtual Reality?

The most common access to Virtual Reality is the Samsung Galaxy Gear. This kit consists of a headset that you put your Samsung phone in (shown in video below) and then put that head piece on. This form of technology has the ability to take you anywhere in or out of this world, using the Samsung phone screen. 

My first experience with Virtual Reality, or VR, was this Samsung. It is almost like putting on  goggles that give you a 360 degree view of any image or video the phone is displaying. 

When I put on the VR Gear, I saw a video of a National Forrest. It was incredible, I felt like I was really there. I was amazed that I could go anywhere I wanted with this VR, which meant that anyone else can too. Even someone in a wheelchair or someone who is bed bound. It was like a light bulb turned on in my brain. And I was not alone!

Watch the video below from USA Today, where Tim learns about VR and tries it out!

My favorite quote from Tim was, 

" Everywhere is Accessible! "

That's the beauty of this technology. It is accessible and makes everything accessible! 

I hope that the VR experience shows Tim that he can do all the things he dreams of doing. To learn more about Tim and how you can help, go to his GoFundme page.

What do you think about Virtual Reality? Do you have experience with it?

Let us know in a comment below!

Do you know American Sign Language?

Watch this video from NPR, that educates others on American Sign Language and its differences.

Did you learn something new? Do you already know ASL and would like to add something?

Let us know by commenting below!

Wellness Wednesday

Happy Wednesday Friends!

In honor of Wellness Wednesday, lets talk about exercise!

There are many kinds of exercises you can do, no matter your age or ability.

What Tyrell told The mighty in his interview is right, “Being disabled, we always have to adapt.” He says "started small" at home, using water battles as weights and from there progressed. Even if you cannot move a certain muscle, ask for help.

Watch the video below that Tyrell Eddy and Lisa Rivera from The Axis Project in New York City, made on 7 simple exercises you can do in a wheelchair.

Click here for the full article and read Tyrell and Lisa's descriptions.

I will leave you all with this quote from Tyrell, 

“Even if you have no mobility, but can move your head, keep moving your head. Keep moving something, The more you do it, the better it gets, the stronger you get.”

What is your favorite exercise? Which exercise looks interesting to you? 

Leave a comment below.

Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America Annual Salute to Veterans Gala

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November 11th, 2017 is Veterans Day, where we  honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces.

The BFA LLC. Family has been involved with the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America for years. We are proud sponsors for the Annual Salute to Veterans Gala. The MPVA is passionate about enhancing the quality of life of Veterans and focuses on the local community. 

The Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America (MPVA) Annual Salute to Veterans Gala will be taking place on Friday, November 10, 2017. This event is a way for all of us to take time out to remember what Veterans Day is all about and it is a day to honor those who are serving, those who have served, and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

The Salute to Veterans Gala will be held at the Suburban Collection Showplace from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Suburban Collection in Novi, Michigan.

This benefit is the MPVA’s largest annual fundraising event and proceeds will not only assist MPVA programs, but it will also support other organizations serving Michigan’s veterans.

During this time, the MPVA will also striving to host an Online Auction from November 3-17, 2017 in hopes to raise more funds that directly serve our organization’s mission. The Salute to Veterans Online Auction will be available on the website: http://www.biddingforgood.com/mpva/2017.

For more information go to www.michiganpva.org or download the event brochure here

Water Therapy?

Sofia and her PT Christie, enjoying therapy in the pool.

Sofia and her PT Christie, enjoying therapy in the pool.

I recently came across a nonprofit organization, dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of kids with Autism and their families. And, well, that is right up our alley! 

Izzy, a pro-surfer and father of two, found out his son, Isaiah, had Autism at the age of three. After a rough day and no one being able to reach Isaiah, Izzy took him on the surf board with him in hopes that the waves would help Isaiah in the way they help him. The waves did exactly that, so he started his non profit, Surfers Healing, a surf camp for kids with Autism and their families.

Besides relating to the passion for enhancing the quality of lives of people with disabilities and their families, I could also relate to seeing the water, especially the ocean, be therapeutic for Sofia. As many of  you know, Sofia is the inspiration to our families business. Just like Izzy, Luis and Gwendolyne knew that there were other families dealing with the same difficulties and wanted to a resource to them. 

Sofia and Gwendolyne on the beach in Turks and Caico.

Sofia and Gwendolyne on the beach in Turks and Caico.

Sofia loves Adventure, so our family cruise to the Caribbean was her cup of tea! Did I mention she loves being in the water? I have never seen her be in a bad mood when she is in the water, even in the shower. Her favorite part of summer is going to PT in the pool. So, of course we had to take her to the beach. After figuring out a way to take her to the shore, in her wheelchair, and successfully complete it, she was finally in the water. Sofia radiated pure joy. You could tell her body was relaxed, her muscles didn't hurt and she was in paradise. Literally!

The point I am trying to make, is that I am finding more and more people in the disability community, find relief and a sense of calm in the water. Have you tried  any kind of water therapy? What is your experience with your loved one with disabilities and the water? 

Let us know in a comment below.

Make sure to follow our facebook page to see updates on current projects and events we participate in!

Pets and their Special Abilities

 Sofia and Hana (family pet)

 Sofia and Hana (family pet)

Our family loves animals, especially dogs! What can I say, we are dog people :)

Truthfully, the main reason for getting a dog was for Sofia, our loved one with Cerebral Palsy. We knew many people in the disability community who had dogs and mentioned that the dogs enhanced their quality of life. This resulted in extensive research on different breeds and deciding what we wanted in a dog. Once we decided, we welcomed Hana, a red Shiba Inu, to the family. As you can see, Hana is always by Sofia, she even sleeps with her. There is a special bond between human and animal, but I believe it is even more special when the dog has a purpose/ job. In our case, Hana is not a professionally trained dog, but she knows Sofia needs special attention and care, making Hana her helper.

From research I have read, there is a common misconception that service dogs are meant for people with visual impairments, but that is not the case. There are many ways a service animal can help anyone, especially with physical disabilities, M.S. in particular.

Sofia, Grandma and Hana (family pet)

Sofia, Grandma and Hana (family pet)

In the National MS magazine, Momentum, I found a great article about pets helping people with MS. They mention that there is no specific animal that is good for MS. Really, any animal that gives you joy and that can motivate you to be responsible for something other than yourself. They also  explain that trained service animals help improve balance, compensate for numb or spastic hands, provide visual assistance.

What I love the most about this article, is that it has stories of people with MS and their experiences with pets.

Brenda Bolster said, “Every day, Sam (her dog) made me get up and focus on him and not my MS. Along with the joy and comfort he gave me, I found myself working harder to regain my strength in my arms and legs so I could walk him and carry him.”

Pets aren't only therapeutic for the person with disability, but also their caregivers and family members. Worrying about your loved one with the disease is a lot of stress. Bolster found that Sam helped her husband release stress as well.

Whether your furry helper is a service dog or family pet, “nothing can compare to the unconditional love and emotional support they give you,” Bolster says. “They are such a healing thing for the whole family.”

We cannot agree more!

Read the full article here to learn more about service animals and their benefits.

Let us know your experience with your pets or service animals by commenting below.

A letter to Caregivers

"Caregiving is not easy, and I wish more people knew that it is a full-time, around-the-clock job, every single day."

I was hooked on this letter, from The mighty, after reading this sentence.

 Many of you know that we are a family owned business. The owners are husband and wife, who started BFA LLC. accessible home modifications company out of a need for accessible home modifications, for their daughter with Cerebral Palsy. The owners are also caregivers for their daughter.

Accessible Home modifications help people with disabilities have a better quality of life with the independence and safety they provide, but it helps the caregivers as well! Transferring is easier AND safer for the caregiver as well, when they are in a barrier free space.

Sofia (Daughter/ inspiration) to the left, Gwendolyne (BFA LLC. CEO/ Mother/ Caregiver) to the right

Sofia (Daughter/ inspiration) to the left, Gwendolyne (BFA LLC. CEO/ Mother/ Caregiver) to the right

As I read this article, I could relate. I imagine some of you can as well. 

This letter is from one mom caregiver to another:

"I completely understand what it’s like to devote your life to care for someone else and neglect your own needs. It started taking a toll on me. You helped me recognize that it is good — and at times necessary — to let people in and accept help."
"I learned that asking for help doesn’t make me any less of a mother or a caregiver.
As caregivers, we need to nourish ourselves."

 

The writer also reminds us...

 "It’s in everyone’s best interest that I’m the best version of myself, so that I can help my son live a successful and healthy life."

Caregivers are the glue that keep us together and going. 

The team at BFA LLC. is dedicated to enhancing our clients quality of life. We are passionate about accessibility solutions. We live in a home that is completely accessible, so we use the services and products that we provide our clients, everyday.

Caregivers, What do you do the de-stress?