Friday, March 2, 2012

What is accessible or universal design?

Basically a universal design is barrier-free design. It is a holistic approach to designing a space to suit anyone. These considerations include: eliminating steps or stairs, roll-in showers, wider doorways to accommodate walker or wheelchairs, lower or adjustable countertops.
Many people have to stay in their current home longer. Many of these homes are not designed with aging in mind. Steps into a shower or tub, stairs to the bedrooms, steps to get in and out of the house, all will be barriers as we get older. Any one may end up on crutches or a wheelchair due to an accident and builder never really take that into account.

Universal or accessible design allows ample room for maneuvering a wheelchair in every space. During a remodel, changes can be made to bring many of these features into an existing home: Replace the tub with a roll-in shower, create room under countertops to allow for a wheelchair to pull up close,  install attractive ramps outside next to steps, widen doorways, and many more. You should consult a design professional about these changes however before you take on such renovation.

An accessible bathroom will have enough clearance under the countertops to allow for a wheelchair, but elegantly hide the plumbing pipes. It is equipped with a roll-in shower with a seat and an area for dressing.


Would love to see your thoughts…