This 2000 image depicted a woman seated in her wheelchair, while she was manipulating the controls of a front-loading clothes dryer, which was located directly adjacent to a front-loading washing machine from which she'd just extracted the damp laundry load. Front-loading washers and dryers are easier to access, for a wider range of users than their top-loading versions. Many people who use wheelchairs, and have trouble bending over, or reaching, or are of short stature such as children, find that front-loading washers and dryers are easier to access. For some people, top loading machines are impossible to use, for one must reach over, and down into these appliances. In this four-image example (see PHIL 9388, 9389, 9390, and 9391), a child, an older adult, and a person using a wheelchair were all shown as benefiting from using the front-loading feature of this washer and dryer. Raised on a pedestal, they become even easier to use for many.
CDC/ Richard Duncan, MRP, Sr. Proj. Mngr, North Carolina State University, The Center for Universal Design (CUD)
October 26, 2012