Why I use a "non-adaptive" water bottle

Water is easy to spill, can be difficult to imbibe, but must be drank oh so frequently. It is plain to see how it could be a pressurized topic in disability. Water affects so many areas of accessibility, from the simple logistics of drinking to transporting to finding accessible facilities [I’m realizing now that this blog on water connects to our previous blogs on urinals and coffee!].

My arms are very unsteady and it is easy for me to spill a glass or knock one over. Like many people with disabilities, this has taught me the value of handles and cups with large bases. And the importance of a good lid.

This bottle by CamelBak has also been a game-changer, and is a great example of why our website is important. The water bottle is likely designed for non-disabled users, but the features that help this audience are essential for me (in particular, the (mostly) spill-proof lid and nozzle, the two-finger carry loop that makes it easy for me to hold on to, the large capacity, and the straw).

This is the needle that Day Undefined is trying to thread: finding accessible products and methods for doing things that are on the common market but not thought of as adaptive.

When I write adaptive what do I mean? Conceptually it implies otherness, I think--that there is the standard way to do a thing and a different, modified way that makes it possible for disabled people. But that is oversimplified, since disability is part of the human condition (and every human could be thought of as on many spectrums of abilities, not normal and other) and therefore products are inherently designed to be used by varied consumers.

I am not saying there is no place for thinking about adaptive design; just that this kind of thinking can be limiting. The ideal situation is to have products that are more specifically designed to fit your abilities. And of course the idealer thing would be to have a world designed for universal access. We are not there yet but this is the direction we need to push. The beauty of finding access in the common market is that 1. It’s cheaper 2. Many times it is well-made 3. It is easier to get delivered. Major firms on the market must compete on the market.


Products mentioned in this blog:

CamelBak Eddy Water Bottle - $ - by CamelBak on Amazon 

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