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