News > Adaptations

The average size of a person with dwarfism is about 120 centimetres (4 ft). Functioning "normally" in an environment designed for individuals measuring on average 30 centimetres more requires continuous effort that may affect the physical health of little people: back pain, muscle pain in the limbs, distortion of the spine, etc. Adapting living spaces can prevent abnormal health deterioration and reduce disability situations. Getting around the barriers a little person faces every day from an early age provides him or her with equal opportunities in his or her personal, professional and social development. This is why the AQPPT has developed an expertise in the areas of adaptation, technical aids, and the different measures that exist in Quebec.

Solutions to adapt the environment exist in different areas of life. For more information on each of these opportunities or for personalized help, please consult the members’ section (see page Participating in AQPPT in the section About Us)

Home Adaptation

An upside down drawer is used as step. When the child is older, he or she can use the sink without the drawer.

The AQPPT has a large number of pictures and descriptions of changes that ensure the comfort of little people as much as that of average-size people living in the same residence: lowering kitchen countertops, installing cantilever sinks, lower-placed switches, stair steps of four inches high, etc.

Some adjustments such as lowering the wardrobe poles or using light aids are particularly excellent for helping school-age children of small stature access things and promoting their autonomy.

In Quebec, there is a program (RAAP) administered by the SHQ (Société d'habitation du Québec). It offers financial assistance to persons with disabilities to help them pay for the cost of the work needed to make their housing accessible and adapted to their needs.

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Vehicle Adaptation

People with dwarfism can usually drive a car by using removable pedal extensions and raising the driver’s seat for better visibility.

Some accessories are also available for those whose arms are too short to reach the dashboard. For safety reasons, it is often necessary to disable the airbag.

These adaptations are usually performed in specialized centres. A financial assistance program administered by the Societé de l’assurance-automobile du Québec (Quebec Automobile Insurance Board) exists for such adaptations.

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Job Adaptation

Chairs tailored for better posture and greater comfort

The changes necessary when hiring a little person come down to adapting tables, chairs and filing cabinets, adding a few benches, some cushions, retractable steps, whether in a copy room or at a service counter.

The Association, with the assistance of a Quebec company, has developed a prototype of an ergonomic task chair for little people, according to their type of dwarfism: a chair with multiple adjustments by gas cylinder, footrest, a suitable base, adjustable arms, and a slider for seat depth.

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Seat and footrest of the chair are adjustable in height and depth

School Adaptation

Each school board has a special budget to make the adaptations required for the proper functioning of a disabled child. For children of small stature, adaptations amount to a multi-position chair and a small footrest, a chair cushion, a small stool for the toilet and drinking fountain as well as accessible storage space for the child to attend to his or her duties alone.



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Bike Adaptation

It has been clinically demonstrated that the adaptated bicycle or tricycle contributes to skill development and social inclusion of children and adolescents.

This is why we have an awards program of adapted tricycles and bicycles for children and teenagers with a physical or intellectual impairment under 18.

Moreover, the AQPPT has developed a relationship with the Chartrand company, manufacturers of custom bikes with 2, 3 or 4 wheels perfectly adapted to the build of adults and children of short stature. The position of the pedals and adjustable seat ensure perfect balance and allow the rider to get on and off the bike with ease.

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© 2011 AQPPT - Translated by George Bravo and Judy Murphy