News / 01/18/2019

Winter Weather PSA from Variety

As the Delaware Valley area braces for more harsh weather this weekend, Variety – the Children’s Charity reminds communities to be aware of the added struggles neighbors with disabilities face during winter storms. Here are some things to consider:

• People who are blind depend on senses of feel and/or sound to navigate under normal conditions. Snow or ice can impede both these senses, whether obstructing the ability of a cane to touch a curb or inhibiting the sound of moving traffic and crowd vibrations.
• Physical mobility is particularly difficult during winter storms for those in wheelchairs or who face mobility challenges in daily life. Those who depend on helpers to get from one place to another may not have access to their aides during these events. And did you know that most electric wheelchairs have a ground clearance of 2.75 inches? This means any snow accumulation can render the equipment useless.
• Our medically fragile neighbors can be in immediate danger if power is lost. Much of their equipment, such as oxygen machines, feeding tube machines, CPAP machines and diagnostic equipment like pulse ox cannot run without electricity.
• Many children on the Autism spectrum or with other disabilities may experience sensory processing disorders. This means they can lack sensitivity to temperatures and/or have high tactile (feel) sensitivity to winter coats and heavy sweaters. Therefore, the cold can especially dangerous and disruptive to them.
• Children and adults with intellectual disabilities rely heavily on family support and/or outside staff to ensure their health and safety throughout any given day. When roads are impassable and transportation avenues are shut down, these individuals can be left isolated and without support.

As you are checking in with friends and family during this weekend’s winter weather, don’t forget those neighbors who may need some extra help.

Our Sponsors