Since the age of 7 Francine McClendon has experienced difficulties in her mobility due to rheumatoid arthritis. For many years Francine speculated a service dog trained to help her in everyday activities would be a great way to increase her overall independence. After adopting Rudy, the intelligent, small, black and white Pappion-Bichon mix, Francine soon realized his aptitude for learning words and commands paired with drive for pleasing people, would prove her hypothesis true! After some time, hard work, and love Francine and Rudy became an inseparable duo. Watch the video below to see their great human and canine relationship at work!

Rudy truly gives the wise old saying, a dog is a man’s best friend a whole new meaning!

What could make this duo even stronger? A totally accessible home filled with assistive technology! In April of 2013 Francine purchased an accessible home with a fenced in back yard built by the Grand Forks Community Land Trust. Watch the video below to learn about the freedom and independence a home built with accessibility in mind can bring an individual with disabilities and their family! While watching the video, try to count the accessible home modifications and assistive technology in Francine’s home. Below the video I will post what I have found!

Assistive Technology

  1. Reacher
  2. Rudy’s potty bell
  3. Dressing Aid Stick
  4. Rudy’s custom feeding, grooming, and general access station
  5. LifeCall Emergency Alerting System
  6. Ceiling Fan Light Switch Extension
  7. Cups with tops and/or straws
  8. Walk-in Tub
  9. Rocker Light Switches
  10. Heavy-duty Non-Slip/Trip Rugs
  11. Power Wheelchair

Accessible Home Modifications

  1. Low rise ramp
  2. Zero step front entrance
  3. Fenced in back yard
  4. Sliding screen door for the back door
  5. Low profile thresholds throughout the home
  6. Hooks, towel bars, and shelves mounted at power wheelchair height
  7. Larger windows at power wheelchair height
  8. Widened doorways
  9. Open floor plan
  10. Microwave placed on a shelf in the base cabinets
  11. Thermostat mounted at power wheelchair height
  12. Larger toe-kick on base cabinets so that a wheelchair user can get closer to the cabinets and countertop
  13. Low profile carpeting
  14. Durable smooth laminate
  15. Cordless electric shades

If you like what you see in Francine’s home and would like to learn more about accessible home modifications feel free to contact IPAT! We have staff on hand that specialize in helping individuals make their dream of living independently in their own home a reality!

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