Researchers of the University of Montreal construct a first shopping mall specifically adapted to persons with a physical handicap.
Intelligent wheelchairs that automatically guide you to the correct store while avoiding obstacles, specific colours on the walls and stairs in order to obtain better contrasts which would likely prevent potential falls, personal guides with special training for different types of disabilities. These scenarios could soon become a reality at Place Alexis Nihon due a new ambitious research project in rehabilitation involving some of the best Quebec researchers in this area.
Place Alexis Nihon, one of the largest shopping malls in downtown Montreal, will soon transform into a real living rehabilitation laboratory during the next few months. Several pilot projects will begin shortly thanks to the collaboration of Canmarc Reit Management, who has graciously accepted to suspend future renovation plans until after these researchers have provided their insight and recommendations.
"In Quebec, approximately 17 per cent of the population has a physical disability. This proportion dramatically increases to 48 per cent for Montreal residents over the age of 65 years. Too often, we forget the numerous obstacles faced by people with a physical disability. We hope our research will encourage the social participation and inclusion of these people, particularly across activities taking place in shopping malls," explained Bonnie Swaine, Scientific Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal (CRIR).
REHACARE.de; Source: University of Montreal