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---- CUSTOMIZED ADAPTATION --------- PURPOSE: To create custom adapted rails for bus for an individual with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome. This individual has a rare syndrome which has resulted in developmental delay and challenging behaviors, and gets very anxious if she doesn’t feel secure. The home which the individual lives has a bus which is used to take the residents to their day placements and on outings at the weekend. Most of the residents use wheelchairs and are lifted in and out of the bus in their chairs, but this individual can walk and so needs to use the fold-down step at the side of the bus for access. The problem was that she did not feel secure on the step, and workers at the home had to support her when she was using it. As well as the risk of injury to the individual if she panicked and lost her balance, there was also a significant risk of injury to the workers if they took all her weight. The solution was to create custom adapted rails that would work in tandem with the buses existing vertical rails on either side of the door. Two additional triangular rail sections were created and attached to buses rails. The vertical side of each new rail was made from square steel tube, and was bolted to another piece of U-shaped steel which goes around each of the existing rails. The other two sides of each new section were made from round steel tube that extended out to form the new rails. A small plate was added at the bottom of each existing rail with a raised square in the centre. When the new rails are folded out for use, the raised square slots into the bottom of the vertical section lock the rails securely in the open position. The vertical sections move freely on the existing rails, so it is easy to lift them slightly to release them when it is time to fold them back in. This also means the new rails don’t compromise the structure of the bus and can be removed if it is sold in the future. The last task was to work out the best way to hold the rails closed and stop them from rattling when they are folded in and the bus is in motion. Initially a spring clip was added to hold them together and some insulation tape on one to muffle the rattle, but the tape appeared to wear out very quickly. This system was replaced with a Velcro-fastening strap. The solution has worked well for the individual providing her with a really good sense of security, and if she should happen to trip she has something other than staff to hold onto. TITLE: Boarding the bus. JOURNAL: TAD Journal. REF: Volume 30, Number 2, April 2010: pp. 12-13. PAGES: 3 with cover.
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