Towards a More Accessible Burn

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Towards a More Accessible Burn

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:11 pm

It's creeping up on three years since my accident. (Don't ask.)

And I am thinking about how to make the city more accessible for every one. (Yes, it wasn't part of the old days, but I don't want to have that argument.)

What does accessible mean? I don't know. I do have a couple of stories from last year. Someone told me that I'd be able to climb the temple last year. Not true. Ramps do not equal access. The ADA standard is one inch for one foot. This was much steeper, 30% at a guess.
Then there was a camp (3 and Esplanade) that called out an invitation when I was passing. It was a sort of cowboy salon thing--that wooden side walk wasn't going to let me up. Maybe I could have worked out something and come in the back, but I didn't try.

I can't get into most geodesic domes, although some have doorways that work. (Consult with thististhatwhichis.) I don't think I'll be able to climb the Silo, and while I'm pleased that Jellyfish is making synchronization rather than strength the aim of Ein Hammer, but I think it could be awkward banging from a chair.

Now, I don't think everything needs to be ada compliant. But looking at the rules might offer a way of thinking about access. Not just for chairs. Sound, sight, height, there are lots of variants
Have any wisdom to share? Ways you've excluded or included? Simple things often work. Maybe find a chair at a thrift store or craigslist and run through your project in it. Blindfolded? Really good ear plugs?
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:20 pm

I put a wheel chair lift on the back of my mutant vehicle. It was fairly easy to do and the expense was minimal. $200 max for me. Picked up the lift off of craigslist for $100 and a deep cycle battery for roughly $75. The rest was in misc wiring pieces and metal to build a battery box. Installation was fairly easy as I just bolted it to a plate I welded in place for it.
I recommend to all mutant vehicle builders to look in to equipping your mutant vehicle with a lift if it is possible.
I regret that for several reasons I have lost interest in bringing my mutant vehicle to the playa.
I am thinking of making a very large pedal powered vehicle. If I do so I will equip it with a lift and proof it with a wheel chair to make sure it is good to go.

Crypto- I hope your mission to raise access awareness yields constructive thoughts and actions by builders of art, camps and vehicles on playa.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:42 pm

My next MV(2010?) will feature a ramp(not ADA compliant) that will have a winch cable for pulling the net in when overloaded with too much fish.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.
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Accessibility 'Avatar' idea

Postby Tiahaar » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:02 am

Crypto, good on ya for being a trooper!
You've seen the new Cameron film AVATAR right? (if not, and this goes for everyone, get thee to a theater Immediately dammit, and prepare for an emotional rollercoaster ride of epic proportions...end of spiel)

OK so we don't yet have a way of doing the Avatar thing and letting a person borrow a replacement body for awhile, but there are lots of able-bodied folks that would be willing to be an 'Avatar' for a disabled person me thinks, as in signing up at Center Camp Volunteer headquaters for a time slot to be on standby as a personal helper. Someone needing assistance in getting around could either stop in and pick up an on-call helper or post a day/time request. Then meet the 'Avatar' helper there or at your camp and they could be the muscle/vehicle assist to go playa exploring.

You think this is worthwhile? Wouldn't take much to put together a BMIR radio spot and a sign-up board at CenterCamp Info. Making all playa things wheelchair accessible at default world levels just ain't ever gonna happen (nor should it...in fact many able-bodied folk best stay clear of some of the climbable stuff, not everyone is a monkey and good with heights) BUT having someone to push up steep ramps, lift onto platforms or piggyback you up spiral stairs for neato views is certainly a great Burner possibility.

my 2 cents worth
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Postby Sham » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:06 am

When I'm not roaming the dusty playa in a loin cloth, I have a default life that involves owning several commercial buildings. They are required to be ADA compliant, which includes among many other things, ground level access or ramps and rest rooms that allow for wheelchair access with wide doors and the ability to spin the wheelchair. Most, if not all of these units have never a person in them that required special access and the massive bathrooms have file cabinets and storage units in them now. I, by law must comply with ADA building laws, but the tentants can do what they want once they are handed the keys.

My plans for a new mutant vehicle include a low bed--24 inches off the ground and a ramp for wheelchair access. I'm not sure if the angle of the ramp will be ADA compliant, but it will certainly allow access for wheel chairs. For some reason, I feel if the ramp is not the right angle, that I could be fined for not doing this correctly.

My real fear however is that I will build this vehicle and then not get a permit to drive on the playa. Should I go to the expense of building and transporting this across the country only to have a DMV person not allow it to drive?
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Postby gyre » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:02 am

Shambala wrote:When I'm not roaming the dusty playa in a loin cloth, I have a default life that involves owning several commercial buildings. As an enlightened slumlord, I skate by ADA regulations on my charm and patrician good looks.

My real fear however is that I will build this vehicle and then not get a permit to drive on the playa. Should I go to the expense of building and transporting this across the country only to have a DMV person not allow it to drive?

You could ask for an opinion on your plans to see if you're on the right track.
Or you could just strap any old boat or flotsam you find onto a lawnmower and call it a day.


The whole access thing is quite a puzzle in a city effectively built to refugee camp standards.
Some obvious easy to change things can be addressed by education though.
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Postby C.f.M. » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:55 am

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Postby Fire_Moose » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:13 am

Cant MVs just have a couple ropes hanging off the back?
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Postby Teo del Fuego » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:24 am

lack of accessibility must be real frustrating. On the other hand, you are at Burning Man and I suppose there are lots of friendly folks all too eager to loft you up like a winning prize fighter and get you to where you want to go. I know I certainly would relish the opportunity to do you a nice deed. But I understabnd your point about accesibility.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:48 am

Sometimes I just don't want to ask. Sometimes I get tired of being helped. Sometimes I want to do things for myself. (I know, it can be argued that if I'm using a ramp that someone put in on the express thought that someone in a chair might want to use it for access, then I am on one level accepting help. We can even argue that this is somehow "un-burnly" because it's not one-to-one, but some sort of impersonal, bureaucratic help. I wouldn't buy it, I'd see it as a very polite and friendly way of saying that I am included.)

And I certainly don't expect everything to be ADA compliant. It would be ridiculously expensive, for one thing. It is a temporary city. And I'm traveling in my van with a portable ramp in the back, so I am in some way being radically self-reliant in, I hope, an appropriate way.

I mentioned the ADA as a guide for things to think about. I'd like to develop some guidelines, so that people can incorporate simple things into their designs. Right now, I'm still at a brain-storming stage of trying to thing of things that might work, and I invite you all to join me.
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:15 am

Shown here, although barely visible, is our own wheelchair-piloting Unjonharly aboard my mutant vehicle. It's not hard to accommodate a chair on a mutant of adequate size, you just need to leave some clear space and not have a restrictive entry.
Image

Entry/exit is handled by Tiahaar's system - several able-bodied volunteers simply hoist the thing aboard.
I forgot whether we lifted the chair with him sitting in it or if we just threw him in like a sack of manure after it... but it wasn't difficult to accomplish.
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Postby ygmir » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:25 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:Shown here, although barely visible, is our own wheelchair-piloting Unjonharly aboard my mutant vehicle. It's not hard to accommodate a chair on a mutant of adequate size, you just need to leave some clear space and not have a restrictive entry.
Image

Entry/exit is handled by Tiahaar's system - several able-bodied volunteers simply hoist the thing aboard.
I forgot whether we lifted the chair with him sitting in it or if we just threw him in like a sack of manure after it... but it wasn't difficult to accomplish.


that's the sort of improvisation, and, inclusion, that makes me proud to be a Burner......

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Postby motskyroonmatick » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:33 am

Shambala wrote:My real fear however is that I will build this vehicle and then not get a permit to drive on the playa. Should I go to the expense of building and transporting this across the country only to have a DMV person not allow it to drive?


In my experience with this the most important thing is to make the vehicle look as non stock as possible while making the exterior interesting and visually stimulating. In short it should not resemble a road vehicle and should look kick ass. Definitely radically illuminate it for night driving.
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Postby Elorrum » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:14 pm

I was thinking that in addition to ramps on vehicles, there might be a few ramps, like bus stops where riders and vehicles could meet. A platform that could be raised or lowered. It could be like operating a canal lock, or a toll bridge, self service, or there might be a ramp operator to hang out there. You of course would have to answer three questions, one of which might be what your favorite color is, so don't vacillate. I'm wondering if the old pneumatic pillar from a barber chair or something like it would work.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:37 pm

Oh my god… what a great idea. A few ramps placed around esplanade would go a long way. I had a goal of making the Contraption’s rear seat removable in ‘08 in order to accommodate a wheelchair. I had figured on using ramps for access, but the last minute flop of the steam boiler and subsequent punt with internal combustion left me with no time to reengineer the seat situation.

Having ramps at camp would be no problem at all, since we use them to unload/load The Contraption itself. Taking them with us would be a whole different issue. Having a ramp that adjusted up and down to accommodate different MV deck heights is genius. And an old barber chair-type mechanism might just be the thing. Plus, small bottle hydraulic bottle jacks are very affordable as well and, like the barber seat idea, require no power other than human to operate. I’d love to be a hands-on part of such a project, but geography and time/budget constraints will limit me this year. I fear making it will be accomplishment enough.

However…

I am totally prepared to offer (at the very least) contraptioneering and brainstorming skills from afar. I’m seeing a simple inclined ramp, with landing at the top, that could be adjusted up and down easily by one person. Like an oversized motorcycle jack-type thing. Directions could be placed in large, clear print on a sign. This would allow any crew of any MV to operate the ramp without the need to have it manned 24/7. Picture one of these at 3:00, 6:00, & 9:00.

I think this idea has much merit.

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Postby littleflower » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:40 pm

i also would be willing to help out burners that need it, for whatever ...

fishy, do you see many wheelchairs? i don't remember many.

i know you aren't asking for help but i thought of this even on the playa last year ... that spending some time with someone to help them see stuff that they just can't see on their own would be a great gifting opportunity.

so many have pointed out that the best gifts come in the shape of help, rather than things.
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Postby rodiponer » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:22 am

My little daughter is in a wheelchair. She does not walk well and can only go a limited distance before she has to sit down. The ramps at the temple were great for her to walk up at her own slow pace. Her wheelchair would not work on the soft dirt of the playa, so last year she rode in a bike trailer and made short walking excursions from that. This year I hope to make something better for her.

One of the things I am proud of, as an American, is that we care so much about other people to go to all the trouble of making most places accessible. I think this generosity is remarkable given the way our collective moral choices are usually dominated by economic efficiency.

So I think you guys are awesome for exploring how to make the ridiculous temporary city in the desert more accessible. I am a little proud to be in the same community. I know it's a bit silly of me, but I feel it shows a certain love for the human condition to value every last one of us so much. That even a small minority is worth expending effort to bring us all up as best as we can.

It is an antidote to the impersonal human hive interpretation of the Metropolis theme. That our future isn't a Koyaanisqatsi inspired dystopia where humanity is just an interesting pattern in a massive landscape, and that, at best, our architecture is interesting. Maybe our collective fate will be better than that, and on a human scale, because even without roads or infrastructure that's worth a damn we give enough crap about each other to try and make our dirty refugee camp a little more accessible.

And when that fails, maybe there does need to be an impromptu barn raising to help some of us overcome what is in the way. For me, with my daughter, I will try and make it easier on myself to ask for and receive this gift of access, however socially awkward and sometimes unwanted it can be in the normal world.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:50 am

A lot of attractions will be vertical this year, I think, due to the theme.
Fishy, this is a reasonable issue that the BMOrg might want to take up.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:11 am

Things would be different if Larry was wheelbound.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.
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Postby rodiponer » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:51 am

But what would the org do? Install elevators in vertical projects that other people make? Buy a a fleet of scissor lifts to park beside temporary buildings? Supply ramps to bars with wood platforms?

This is nerdy, but it would be cool to design an old fashioned manual elevator that can be quickly assembled in a fail safe and stupid proof way, and uses scaffolding as the supporting framework. Maybe interlocking tubes that guide a platform, a counterbalance that you fill with water, and a pull rope to operate it.
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Postby Bob » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:35 pm

Contact whomever is in charge of theme camps re: writing up some content for a web page to submit it to the org, suggesting they use it to inform theme camps & artist types about the issues. A few years ago I helped write copy for pages on burn scar prevention, recycling, safety, etc. Look here for examples:

http://www.burningman.com/themecamps/resource_guide.html
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby j_cavera » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:37 pm

This is nerdy, but it would be cool to design an old fashioned manual elevator that can be quickly assembled in a fail safe and stupid proof way, and uses scaffolding as the supporting framework. Maybe interlocking tubes that guide a platform, a counterbalance that you fill with water, and a pull rope to operate it.


... And a trebuchet mechanism in case someone hits the "Willy Wonka" button! C'mon, I know you're thinkin' it!

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Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:40 pm

rodiponer wrote:But what would the org do?

You're forgetting.
THIS
IS
BURNINGMAN!

:)

Seriously, all they would do is encourage builders to consider accessibillity. That's often sufficient.
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Postby thisisthatwhichis » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:11 pm

LeChatNoir wrote:Oh my god… what a great idea.......

............ Picture one of these at 3:00, 6:00, & 9:00.

I think this idea has much merit.

Image



Yea, count me in. I think this could be fabulous!!!
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:39 pm

Bob wrote:Contact whomever is in charge of theme camps re: writing up some content for a web page to submit it to the org, suggesting they use it to inform theme camps & artist types about the issues. A few years ago I helped write copy for pages on burn scar prevention, recycling, safety, etc. Look here for examples:

http://www.burningman.com/themecamps/resource_guide.html


Thank you, Bob.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:45 pm

littleflower wrote:fishy, do you see many wheelchairs? i don't remember many.
How do you define "many"? I would see at least a couple a day. It's amazing what you see when you actually look for something, or at least take note of it when you see it.
And no, I don't know how many people I see each day, but we have a village of about 100 people. 2 of us are in chairs. One is partially deaf. I think it's one of the the things that isn't seen until you start looking.

And if anyone wants to speak up about their experiences, please do.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:54 pm

thisisthatwhichis wrote:Yea, count me in. I think this could be fabulous!!!


Here’s a couple more examples using a slightly larger platform. I'd think an actual chair platform should be wider, of course:

Image

Image

A ramp attached to the end of such an adjustable platform via a rod and hinge type connection would allow itto adjust to whatever height the platform was at. Casters or rollers on the ground-level end of the ramp would accommodate the back and forth movement of that end due to raising or lowering the platform. You could board or disembark the deck of a compatible MV via either side of the platform. Or perhaps a rail up one side of the ramp and one side of the platform?

I’ll do some figures this weekend on what it might take to build such a device.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:30 pm

I know that ADA standard is 1â€
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:33 pm

I have one of these lifts.
I am imagining it being mounted on a heavy base with legs that support the off center weight. Possibly with a short section of truck ramp off the back side that would work like a draw bridge to stick in to the entry point on MVs.
Power it with a deep cycle battery and it would probably be good for the entire event. Add some solar if necessary.

Does anyone know what the average entry height of MVs is?
Thoughts? Suggestions?


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Postby ygmir » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:33 pm

seems that'd become pretty subjective.

traction?
strength of person powering chair.
power if motorized.

are things I can think of.
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