Achondroplasia: How to Put a Large-Stature World Within Reach

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Not being able to ride a bike, or open the door to your home, or reach a light switch is frustrating. For anyone with achondroplasia, these are an everyday annoyance but with a little ingenuity, basic changes can make life much easier for others, according to a helpful article on the non-profit website, Little People of America.

Whether you or a loved one is affected by achondroplasia (dwarfism), situations can produce barriers and struggles. The average size of a person with dwarfism is about four feet. But the world, as we know it, is generally designed for people who are one to two feet taller. Simple, thoughtful adaptations can help everyone have the same opportunities to develop personally, socially, and professionally.

At home:

  1. Bicycles – Cut a thick piece of wood to the size of the bike pedal and attach it to the pedal with electrical or duct tape. There are also a number of online retailers who sell pedal blocks.
  2. Front doors – Remove the standard round doorknob and replace them with a lever door handle that makes gripping much easier.
  3. Light switches – Standard light switches are generally placed too high for someone with dwarfism. To help make the switch reachable, drill a small hole in the switch and attach a dowel with an eye hook.

At work:

  1. Common area furniture – Provide low-profile furniture with cushions or remove the feet from existing chairs and couches. A folding stepstool or retractable stairs can also help people of smaller stature feel comfortable.
  2. Office furniture – Offer ergonomic desk chairs that allow for multiple adjustments to the base, arms and seat depth.
  3. Drinking fountains – A small footrest or stepstool can make refreshment available for all.

To learn more about making your surroundings more accessible to everyone, at any budget, click here.


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