For many of us, trying to assemble IKEA furniture can prove to be an incredibly time consuming and difficult task. For homeowners with disabilities, however, even simply using the furniture can be just as much of a challenge. To help alleviate this issue, IKEA is now offering free blueprints for attachments that will make furniture more accessible and easier for everyone to use.
According to the Good News Network, IKEA Israel recently released a series of 13 blueprints compatible with 3D printers which enable users to print attachments that go on several of their furniture items. These attachments include easy to use handles for doors, cabinets, and even curtains, as well as bumpers to protect furniture from wheelchair collision.
These attachments are made specifically to fit the majority of IKEA's furniture in order to give as many options to people as possible. Perhaps one of the coolest blueprints available is for a ‘finger brush’ which allows people with hand function problems to paint, draw, and write more securely.
Dubbed the ‘ThisAbles’ series, the project was a collaboration between Milbat NGO and Access Israel, two non-profit organizations aimed at helping people with disabilities.
According to the series' official website, the idea began in an effort "to improve the quality of life for as many people as possible and this also applies to persons with various disabilities, who represent 10% of the world’s population."
The website also states, "We realized that we must ensure that these persons will also be able to enjoy the quality of life provided by Ikea products and this is how the project was born.”
The website itself not only features instructional videos on how to use the products but also allows people with disabilities to submit their issues with common furniture and ask for a solution. If a person already has a solution, there's a place for that to be submitted and eventually put into production as well.
While those with disabilities still often struggle to find products suited to their needs, there has been a lot of improvements in recent years. With items like Barbie dolls with disabilities and makeup accessible to people with handicaps, it’s becoming a much bigger part of our global conversation.
IKEA seems to be making some pretty fantastic changes recently, including opening its doors up to stray pets, and now making this great adjustment to help those with special needs. We hope to see more companies follow suit and create a much more inclusive world for everyone.