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Universal Design Examples In The Home

Universal Design for the home
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Universal home design is an approach to designing spaces, products, and services that make them accessible and usable by the widest range of people possible.

Universal design concepts includes people with disabilities, as well as those without a disability.

Principles of Universal design can be applied to many different areas, including the home.

Examples of universal design in the home include features such as wide doorways and hallways, lever handles on doors and cabinets, adjustable-height counters, and non-slip flooring.

These features make it easier for people of all ages and abilities to move around the home safely and comfortably.

As an occupational therapist working in home health, I made recommendations that included durable medical equipment such as bath benches and commodes, which are not necessarily considered to be attractive options.

However, when people are able to plan ahead, they can choose modifications that are aesthetically pleasing and are more likely to increase home value.

As an OT, I have a universal design toolkit to help me create spaces that are beautiful, comfortable, and timeless.

A barrier-free design works for everyone and covers a wide range of individual preferences.

Whether you are modifying your current home environment or investing in a new build, please consider the concept of Universal Design in your home.

Universal design seeks to achieve intuitive use and equitable use of the home environment for all users, regardless of age, ability or income level.

By integrating specific design principles into the overall layout of the home, universal design can help create a more comfortable and convenient user experience for everyone.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights legislation in the United States which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities.

The act requires that public buildings and certain private businesses must be accessible for individuals with disabilities, including providing appropriate accommodations such as ramps, elevators, and wheelchair lifts.

Universal design principles can help ensure that the home is accommodating for all, providing a space where people with disabilities can live safely and comfortably.

This concept only makes good sense, especially with the rapidly growing numbers of baby boomers and the overall aging population.

Examples Of Universal Design In Everyday Living

Improving accessibility through Universal Design Principles and equitable use in everyday living can help create an inclusive environment for everyone.

Inclusive design doesn’t just benefit those with disabilities – it makes spaces easier for everyone to navigate and interact with, regardless of their ability levels.

By adopting accessible design features into everyday living, we are taking steps towards creating a more equal society for all to the greatest extent possible.

Accessible homes make living easier and more comfortable for everyone.

The needs of the modern home—and the abilities of its residents—are increasingly varied, a fact that the contemporary housing market has yet to reflect

Architectural Digest

Universal Design For The Accessible Bathroom

Universal Design Shower

1 Build a curbless shower

2. Include non-slip mats or rugs in wet areas.

3. Place light switches and electrical outlets at a reachable height for all users. Add LED strip lighting underneath bathroom vanity for wayfinding.

4. Install shower seats with adjustable heights and armrests for maximum comfort.

5. Make sure the sink is at a comfortable height, allowing people to comfortably reach it while sitting or standing.

6. Create a main floor master bathroom

7. Install wide, clear paths leading from the entrance of the bathroom to all necessary areas.

8. Install shower benches to provide an area to sit while washing up, with adjustable heights if possible.

9. Place storage shelves at a reachable height so users don’t have to stretch or bend to reach items.

10. Use hand-held shower heads, which are easier to use than overhead fixtures.

11. Install lever handles on doors and faucets that require minimal effort to open, close, or turn on/off.

12. Choose automated bathroom fans with light sensors and/or timers so they will kick in as needed without having to be manually activated.

13. Add accessible outlets at reachable heights so users can charge their devices without bending down.

14. Incorporate a range of lighting options throughout the bathroom for different tasks including general lighting, task lighting, accent lighting and night lights for nighttime guidance within the space. This can be achieved by using a combination of recessed lighting, wall sconces, and pendants.

15. Ensure the flooring is slip-resistant to prevent falls or slips in wet environments.

16. Install grab bars on at least one side of the toilet and around shower/tub areas for support while sitting down or standing up.

17. Use rounded edges throughout the space as they are easier to maneuver around with wheelchairs or walkers. These can include countertops, cabinets, and other furniture pieces such as chairs and tables.

18. Choose toilets that are taller than standard models and have comfort height features for elderly users who may have difficulty sitting down or standing up from lower units.

Universal Design In The Kitchen

lever handle

1. Ergonomic Appliances: Utilizing appliances with features that make them easier to use, such as height-adjustable counters and touchless faucets.

2. Open Space Layouts: Creating a spacious layout to allow for easy maneuvering and access when preparing meals or cleaning up.

3. Strategically Placed Storage: Installing accessible storage solutions like pull-out drawers and pegboards in order to maximize space efficiency without sacrificing accessibility.

4. User-Friendly Surfaces: Installing countertops and cabinets with smooth surfaces to reduce the risk of accidental slips or trips.

5. Lever-Style Handles: Installing door, drawer, and cabinet pulls with lever-style handles so they can be opened easier by people who have difficulty gripping traditional door handles.

6. Judicious Placement of Appliances: Strategically placing appliances (e.g., ovens, microwaves, dishwashers) close to each other for easy access and reachability when needed.

7. Non-Slip Flooring: Installing non-slip flooring throughout the kitchen to provide safe footing even in wet conditions.

8. Accessible Sinks: Replacing traditional kitchen sinks with accessible ones that are lower to the ground, making them easier for people who have difficulty bending and reaching.

9. Illuminating Task Spaces: Utilizing task lighting to illuminate countertops and other spaces where food is prepared or dishes are washed. This will help individuals with low vision or poor eyesight safely complete everyday tasks in the kitchen.

10. Wider Walkways: Ensuring there is ample room between counters, islands, and appliances so wheelchair users can easily maneuver around the kitchen without compromising safety.

11. Adjustable Shelves: Installing shelves that can be adjusted to different heights within cabinets and pantries to accommodate people of all sizes and physical abilities.

12. Ergonomic Seating: Incorporating ergonomically designed chairs and stools that are comfortable and adjustable to different heights so individuals can work at kitchen counters without strain or discomfort.

13. Appropriate Appliances: Including large font display screens on microwave ovens, range hoods and other appliances to make it easier for those with vision impairments to read the settings.

14. Easy-to-Clean Surfaces: Selecting surfaces that are easy to wipe down and keep clean can help reduce the burden of cleaning up messes that accompanies everyday cooking.

15. Appropriate Lighting: Incorporating task lighting as well as general overhead lighting in order to improve visibility in all areas of the kitchen, allowing everyone to work more easily and efficiently. Adding under cabinet LED strip lighting for wayfinding in the dark or low light.

16. Accessible Cabinetry: Installing pull-out shelves or drawers within cabinets so individuals with limited range of motion have easier access to items stored inside them.

Universal Design Idea List

1. Adding ramps to the entrance of buildings and homes to accommodate wheelchairs, strollers, and walkers.

2. Enhancing lighting in indoor spaces and on pathways outdoors to improve visibility.

3. Widening hallways and doorways to provide easier access for mobility aids and larger furniture items such as hospital beds.

4. Enhancing audible signals such as doorbells or alarm systems that alert people who may have difficulty seeing or hearing regular visual/audible cues.

5. Incorporating textured floor surfaces that improve traction when wet to prevent slips and falls.

6. Adding motion detectors in hallways and bathrooms to automatically turn on lights when someone enters the space, eliminating the need for manual switches which can be difficult to operate with impaired mobility or cognitive functioning issues.

7. Utilizing non-slip materials on stairs and ramps to ensure secure footing in all areas of the living space.

8. Incorporating textured tiles and appliques into kitchen and bathroom designs which add an aesthetic touch while creating a safe, non-slip surface for greater stability.

9. Offering voice control technology that allows users to operate electronic devices without having to physically manipulate buttons or controllers with impaired motor skills or vision challenges.

10. Installing adjustable countertops, sinks and other surfaces which offer more flexibility in how the space is used by people of different heights and physical abilities.

How to Design A Universally Designed Utility Room?

When designing a universally designed utility room in your own home, it is important to consider the needs of all users.

It should be designed with diversity in mind, taking into consideration age, ability level, size and other factors that may affect its use.

There are several key elements to keep in mind when designing a universally accessible space:

1. Clear Pathways: Make sure pathways throughout the room are wide enough for wheelchairs and those with disabilities to easily access all areas of the room. Design pathways to allow two-way traffic and provide ramps when needed.

2. Accessible Shelving: Provide ample storage options that can accommodate wheelchairs as well as people of different heights or abilities. Consider adjustable or pull down shelving units as needed. Keep commonly used items within easy reach.

3. Ergonomic Workspace: Include an ergonomically designed work surface at an accessible height. The workspace should allow for a wheelchair to pull up underneath and have knee clearance. Consider lever-style faucets and other features that are easy to use.

4. Safety Features: Include safety features such as non-slip flooring, adequate lighting, emergency call systems and clearly marked exits. Keep the floor clear of tripping hazards and cords out of the way.

5. Labels and Signage: Use clear and concise labels or signs to indicate the purpose and location of items.

How to Design Universally Designed Laundry Rooms?

laundry room
Accessible added storage helps with organization

To design a universally designed laundry room that accommodates people of all abilities, follow these guidelines:

1. Accessibility: The entry door should be at least 32 inches wide to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. Include a zero-threshold entry if possible to eliminate any lips or edges that could trip someone. The layout should allow for adequate maneuvering space with a minimum of 32 inches between appliances and fixtures.

2. Counter Height: Install counters and controls at varying heights to accommodate those in wheelchairs as well as children and shorter adults. Include a section of lower counter, around 29 inches high, as well as a standard height counter.

3. Appliance Controls: Choose appliances with controls that are easy to reach, see and operate. This could include large knobs, levers instead of buttons and digital displays with adjustable brightness.

Rearrange controls so the most commonly used ones are within easy reach.

4. Storage: Include a mix of storage options at varying heights. Install some cabinets with pull-out drawers and shelves as well as hanging storage for laundry supplies. Make sure all storage is clearly labeled and easy to access.

5. Seating: Include a sturdy chair or bench so people can sit while loading and unloading the machines. Choose seating that is stable, allows for easy transfer and has armrests.

What Is Universal Design In Furniture?

The term Universal Design in furniture is a concept that takes into account the needs of people with disabilities when designing products.

By taking into account factors such as height, weight, movement and reachability, Universal Design ensures that furniture can be used by all individuals regardless of their physical limitations.

The goal of Universal Design is also to reduce any potential barriers faced by those with limited mobility, such as a lack of appropriate seating or having to reach items that are too high.

Universal Design in furniture looks at the ways in which products can be adapted and modified so that everyone can benefit from them.

This includes things like adjustable height chairs and desks, ergonomic design for user comfort, and built-in storage solutions.

Universal Design Furniture has the potential to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing, creating a space that is inviting and enjoyable for everyone.

Some features of Universal Design Furniture include:

1. Adjustable height chairs and desks that can be adapted to users’ individual needs.

2. Ergonomic design that provide comfort and support for different body sizes and shapes.

3. Built-in storage solutions, such as drawers or shelving, which save space and keep clutter out of sight.

4. Easy-to-reach controls, handles and knobs to make furniture more accessible.

5. Non-slip surfaces or textured materials that can prevent slipping or tripping when using furniture.

6. Wheels for easy movement of the furniture, as well as for moving it to different locations. However, wheels are not recommended for chairs as this will create a fall risk.

7. Versatile seating options, like benches and ottomans, that can be used for a variety of tasks.

8. Durable materials and construction that are designed to last for many years without needing replacements or repairs.

Universal design in furniture is all about making the space around you more comfortable and livable.

By incorporating these design elements into your furniture, you can create a space that is more accessible for everyone in the household.

With so many options available, it’s easy to find pieces of furniture that will fit any room or situation – giving everyone the chance to make their own adjustments as needed.

How to Design A Universally Designed Backyard?

When it comes to creating a universally designed backyard, the possibilities are almost endless.

There are numerous design elements that can be incorporated into a space to make it accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

Accessible gardening combines seven basic principles to ensure that a design includes considerations of all levels of mobility and understanding. An accessible garden doesn’t just focus on people with physical limitations or limited mobility. This type of garden also includes age, sensory abilities, and safety considerations. 

Epic Gardening

Here are some tips on how to design a universally designed backyard:

1. Make use of ramps or slopes instead of stairs – Ramps or gentle slopes instead of steps allow for easy access for those with limited mobility.

2. Consider lighting options – Light fixtures should be strategically placed throughout the yard to ensure adequate illumination and accessibility as well as safety at night. Additionally, consider adding motion detector lights so that pathways will be illuminated when in use.

3. Add seating options – Seating areas should be provided throughout the yard to ensure everyone can comfortably rest when needed. Seating should include both traditional and unconventional styles, such as raised beds that could double for seating or planters with high backs.

4. Create multiple exterior paths – To facilitate movement throughout the yard, think of creating multiple outdoor pathways using various materials such as flagstones, pavers, mulch or even gravel. Paths should be wide enough to accommodate an electric scooter or wheelchair and have railings if necessary.

5. Incorporate a variety of textures – Different textures provide tactile interest in addition to visual appeal. Consider adding grasses, ferns, sandboxes, rocks and other elements that are interesting to touch and explore.

6. Make sure there is easy access to the yard – To ensure easy access, consider adding a ramp or wide steps that lead from the house to the backyard. Handrails are also important for those who have difficulty negotiating stairs or for anyone in general.

7. Add ground level seating – Whether it’s built in benches or portable chairs, ground level seating is essential for individuals with limited mobility. Make sure there is plenty of space for maneuverability around these areas as well as enough room for wheelchair access if necessary.

8. Include multiple levels of lighting – Different task illumination can be beneficial when creating a universally designed backyard space, such as low-level uplighting on trees and plants, strings of lights along pathways and higher point sources near seating areas. This will allow people to move around safely and easily – even when the sun sets.

9. Consider wider pathways (at least 32″) – Make sure your pathways are wide enough for wheelchairs and walkers, with a firm surface that’s not too slippery or unstable. Furthermore, ensure there is adequate railings whenever necessary as well as ramps for those who have difficulty negotiating stairs.

10. Plant native and adaptive plants – Planting local species of plants can help conserve natural resources, making them more friendly to the environment than exotic varieties, while still providing the beauty you hope to achieve in your landscape design. Additionally, adding adaptive plants such as shrubs and flowers that require minimum maintenance can also create a beautiful outdoor space without excessive effort.

11. Add movable furniture – Incorporate pieces that are easily moved, allowing for flexible space usage and creating a more open feel to your backyard design. This allows people of all ages and abilities to rearrange the furniture as needed, making it easier for everyone to interact with one another outdoors.

12. Provide shade – Shade is an important element in any outdoor room, especially when you’re dealing with a hot summer day or the sun’s glare on the patio or deck. Adding trees, umbrellas or pergolas can help provide much-needed relief from direct sunlight and create an inviting atmosphere for all visitors regardless of age.

13. Install a pool lift or ramp – If you have a swimming pool, consider installing a lift or ramp to make the area accessible for people with physical disabilities. This can also help elderly individuals enjoy the pool without needing someone’s assistance to get in and out of it.

14. Incorporate raised planting beds – Raised beds are great for adding flowers, vegetables or herbs to your backyard design and they can be easily incorporated into any style of garden. They are especially useful for wheelchair users who want to enjoy gardening but may not be able to reach down into traditional planters.

15. Install outdoor lighting – Outdoor lighting is important for everyone, but it’s particularly helpful when creating a universally designed backyard space. For instance, motion-sensing lights can help those with limited mobility get around the backyard safely after dark.

16. Choose non-slip surfaces – Slippery surfaces are a major safety hazard when making universal design modifications to your backyard. Consider using textured tiles or outdoor rugs to ensure everyone stays safe from slips and falls.

17. Incorporate low maintenance plants – When selecting plants and landscaping materials, opt for those that require minimal care and maintenance. This will make it easier for everyone to keep up with the upkeep of the backyard without additional help or assistance.

18. Implement safety features – Make sure that your yard is safe for all users by adding motion sensors, security lights, and other safety devices such as railings along pathways or steps. You can also consider investing in a pool cover or fence around any water features to prevent accidents from occurring.

How To Design A Universally Designed Pool?

When designing a pool for use by all people, regardless of their ability level, there are several factors that must be taken into consideration.

First and foremost, the design should ensure safety for everyone using it—this means having appropriate depths and making sure that entrances and exits are easily accessible.

Second, access to the pool needs to be accounted for; ideally this means providing multiple points of entry into the water as well as ramps or chairs for those with mobility impairments.

The pool should have a wide range of depths so that swimmers can find an area comfortable for them no matter what their abilities may be. Handrails around the entire perimeter also provide additional support.

It is equally important to plan out how the pool will be used and the types of activities that are allowed. Pool chairs, flotation devices, hoists, and other assistive equipment may need to be included in order to make all activities accessible for everyone.

In addition to providing access to the water itself, consideration must also be given to how people can move safely around the pool deck.

This means properly labeling exits and entrances as well as having platforms or ramps at different locations so that wheelchair users can access the deck easily.

It is important to also provide barriers around deep areas of the pool. This includes making sure there are no features such as drains or steps that could present a tripping hazard.

Finally, signage should identify hazards and alert swimmers when they are entering a deep area of the pool.

How to Design A Universal Design Shed?

Designing a shed for universal use requires careful consideration of the intended purpose and available space.

It is important to consider the size, shape, materials, and features that will make it useful for many different purposes.

A well-designed shed can be used as a workshop, garden tool storage, general outdoor storage area, or even a place to simply hangout .

When deciding on the size of your shed, you should think about how much space you want to allocate for each purpose.

If you are planning on using the shed primarily for gardening tools and equipment then you may want to build a larger structure than if you plan on using it mainly for storing small items.

Additionally, if there is limited space in your backyard or garden then choosing a smaller shed may be more appropriate.

When it comes to materials, there are a variety of options available including wood, metal, and plastic.

Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages so you should research different products carefully before making your decision.

For example, wood is often the most attractive option but can be more expensive than other materials and may require regular maintenance such as painting or staining.

Metal sheds can offer greater durability but they tend to cost more up front and may not have enough insulation for colder climates.

Plastic sheds are usually the least expensive option but they don’t typically last as long as other materials.

The next step in designing a universally shed is to plan out how it will be used.

This includes deciding where the door will go, what size the shed will be, and what type of shelving or storage containers you would like to include.

It’s also important to consider how much access you want from outside.

For example, a shed that can only be accessed through a small door may not be suitable for tools or items that need to be frequently accessed.

Finally, you should think about ways to make your shed look great.

This could include painting it with bright colors or adding decorations such as flowers or flags around the doors.

Adding a weathervane to the top is also a great way to make your shed stand out while still being functional. With some creativity and planning, you can create an attractive and practical storage space for all seasons!

Universal Home Modifications Can Make A Person’s Life Easier…

1. Installing ramps for wheelchair access and/or for individuals who are unable to use stairs.

2. Lowering light switches, appliance controls, cabinets, and countertops so they are accessible from a seated position.

3. Installing grab bars in bathrooms and showers for added balance and stability while bathing or showering.

4. Adding non-slip flooring in all areas likely to get wet or slippery, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

5. Replacing older handles with lever style handles on doors, faucets and other items around the home.

6. Installing a wheelchair lift or elevator, if the person needs to navigate multiple levels of the house without using stairs.

7. Replacing traditional doorknobs with hands-free, foot-activated devices that allow individuals with limited fine motor skills the ability to open and close doors by pushing down on a lever, pad, or button.

8. Adding ramps over thresholds for smooth transitions from one room to another as well as between outside areas and inside for easy access for wheelchairs and/or mobility aids.

9. Replacing existing steps in front of the home with low-level ramps.

10. Replacing high-pile carpets with low-pile carpeting, throw rugs, or non-slip floor tiles that are easier to maneuver wheelchairs and mobility aids on.

11. Widening doorways for increased access to rooms throughout the house, including bathrooms for wheelchairs and other mobility aids such as walkers or canes.

12. Lowering electrical outlets, light switches and thermostats so they are accessible from a seated position (such as a wheelchair).

13. Installing lever door handles instead of doorknobs to increase accessibility, as well as installing motion sensor lights.

14. Adding a stairlift (or chair lift) for individuals with mobility impairments who need assistance getting up and down stairs safely.

15. Building an accessible entryway so that individuals using wheelchairs can enter the house comfortably without having to step over any thresholds or door frames.

16. Replacing existing counters, sinks and cabinets with those that are wheelchair-accessible height to allow independent use in the kitchen.

Hire A Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist For Your Home Remodel Or New Home

A certified aging in place specialist (CAPS) is a professional who has been specifically trained to help older adults age in place safely and comfortably.

CAPS-certified professionals have the skills and knowledge to assess the unique needs of seniors and make recommendations for products and services that can help them live independently.

They also have a network of resources and contacts that they can connect seniors with, if needed.

If you or a loved one is interested in aging in place, working with a CAPS-certified professional can help ensure that your home is safe and comfortable, and that you have the resources and support you need to age independently.

Universal design concepts includes people with disabilities, as well as those without a disability.

Principles of Universal design can be applied to many different areas, including the home.

Examples of universal design in the home include features such as wide doorways and hallways, lever handles on doors and cabinets, adjustable-height counters, and non-slip flooring.

These features make it easier for people of all ages and abilities to move around the home safely and comfortably.

As an occupational therapist working in home health, I made recommendations that included durable medical equipment such as bath benches and commodes, which are not necessarily considered to be attractive options.

However, when people are able to plan ahead, they can choose modifications that are aesthetically pleasing and are more likely to increase home value.

As an OT, I have a universal design toolkit to help me create spaces that are beautiful, comfortable, and timeless.

A barrier-free design works for everyone and covers a wide range of individual preferences.

Whether you are modifying your current home environment or investing in a new build, please consider the concept of Universal Design in your home.

Universal design seeks to achieve intuitive use and equitable use of the home environment for all users, regardless of age, ability or income level.

By integrating specific design principles into the overall layout of the home, universal design can help create a more comfortable and convenient user experience for everyone.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights legislation in the United States which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities.

The act requires that public buildings and certain private businesses must be accessible for individuals with disabilities, including providing appropriate accommodations such as ramps, elevators, and wheelchair lifts.

Universal design principles can help ensure that the home is accommodating for all, providing a space where people with disabilities can live safely and comfortably.

This concept only makes good sense, especially with the rapidly growing numbers of baby boomers and the overall aging population.

Examples Of Universal Design In Everyday Living

Improving accessibility through Universal Design Principles and equitable use in everyday living can help create an inclusive environment for everyone.

Inclusive design doesn’t just benefit those with disabilities – it makes spaces easier for everyone to navigate and interact with, regardless of their ability levels.

By adopting accessible design features into everyday living, we are taking steps towards creating a more equal society for all to the greatest extent possible.

Accessible homes make living easier and more comfortable for everyone.

Universal Design For The Accessible Bathroom

1 Build a curbless shower

2. Include non-slip mats or rugs in wet areas.

3. Place light switches and electrical outlets at a reachable height for all users. Add LED strip lighting underneath bathroom vanity for wayfinding.

4. Install shower seats with adjustable heights and armrests for maximum comfort.

5. Make sure the sink is at a comfortable height, allowing people to comfortably reach it while sitting or standing.

6. Create a main floor master bathroom

7. Install wide, clear paths leading from the entrance of the bathroom to all necessary areas.

8. Install shower benches to provide an area to sit while washing up, with adjustable heights if possible.

9. Place storage shelves at a reachable height so users don’t have to stretch or bend to reach items.

10. Use hand-held shower heads, which are easier to use than overhead fixtures.

11. Install lever handles on doors and faucets that require minimal effort to open, close, or turn on/off.

12. Choose automated bathroom fans with light sensors and/or timers so they will kick in as needed without having to be manually activated.

13. Add accessible outlets at reachable heights so users can charge their devices without bending down.

14. Incorporate a range of lighting options throughout the bathroom for different tasks including general lighting, task lighting, accent lighting and night lights for nighttime guidance within the space. This can be achieved by using a combination of recessed lighting, wall sconces, and pendants.

15. Ensure the flooring is slip-resistant to prevent falls or slips in wet environments.

16. Install grab bars on at least one side of the toilet and around shower/tub areas for support while sitting down or standing up.

17. Use rounded edges throughout the space as they are easier to maneuver around with wheelchairs or walkers. These can include countertops, cabinets, and other furniture pieces such as chairs and tables.

18. Choose toilets that are taller than standard models and have comfort height features for elderly users who may have difficulty sitting down or standing up from lower units.

Universal Design In The Kitchen

1. Ergonomic Appliances: Utilizing appliances with features that make them easier to use, such as height-adjustable counters and touchless faucets.

2. Open Space Layouts: Creating a spacious layout to allow for easy maneuvering and access when preparing meals or cleaning up.

3. Strategically Placed Storage: Installing accessible storage solutions like pull-out drawers and pegboards in order to maximize space efficiency without sacrificing accessibility.

4. User-Friendly Surfaces: Installing countertops and cabinets with smooth surfaces to reduce the risk of accidental slips or trips.

5. Lever-Style Handles: Installing door, drawer, and cabinet pulls with lever-style handles so they can be opened easier by people who have difficulty gripping traditional door handles.

6. Judicious Placement of Appliances: Strategically placing appliances (e.g., ovens, microwaves, dishwashers) close to each other for easy access and reachability when needed.

7. Non-Slip Flooring: Installing non-slip flooring throughout the kitchen to provide safe footing even in wet conditions.

8. Accessible Sinks: Replacing traditional kitchen sinks with accessible ones that are lower to the ground, making them easier for people who have difficulty bending and reaching.

9. Illuminating Task Spaces: Utilizing task lighting to illuminate countertops and other spaces where food is prepared or dishes are washed. This will help individuals with low vision or poor eyesight safely complete everyday tasks in the kitchen.

10. Wider Walkways: Ensuring there is ample room between counters, islands, and appliances so wheelchair users can easily maneuver around the kitchen without compromising safety.

11. Adjustable Shelves: Installing shelves that can be adjusted to different heights within cabinets and pantries to accommodate people of all sizes and physical abilities.

12. Ergonomic Seating: Incorporating ergonomically designed chairs and stools that are comfortable and adjustable to different heights so individuals can work at kitchen counters without strain or discomfort.

13. Appropriate Appliances: Including large font display screens on microwave ovens, range hoods and other appliances to make it easier for those with vision impairments to read the settings.

14. Easy-to-Clean Surfaces: Selecting surfaces that are easy to wipe down and keep clean can help reduce the burden of cleaning up messes that accompanies everyday cooking.

15. Appropriate Lighting: Incorporating task lighting as well as general overhead lighting in order to improve visibility in all areas of the kitchen, allowing everyone to work more easily and efficiently. Adding under cabinet LED strip lighting for wayfinding in the dark or low light.

16. Accessible Cabinetry: Installing pull-out shelves or drawers within cabinets so individuals with limited range of motion have easier access to items stored inside them.

Universal Design Idea List

1. Adding ramps to the entrance of buildings and homes to accommodate wheelchairs, strollers, and walkers.

2. Enhancing lighting in indoor spaces and on pathways outdoors to improve visibility.

3. Widening hallways and doorways to provide easier access for mobility aids and larger furniture items such as hospital beds.

4. Enhancing audible signals such as doorbells or alarm systems that alert people who may have difficulty seeing or hearing regular visual/audible cues.

5. Incorporating textured floor surfaces that improve traction when wet to prevent slips and falls.

6. Adding motion detectors in hallways and bathrooms to automatically turn on lights when someone enters the space, eliminating the need for manual switches which can be difficult to operate with impaired mobility or cognitive functioning issues.

7. Utilizing non-slip materials on stairs and ramps to ensure secure footing in all areas of the living space.

8. Incorporating textured tiles and appliques into kitchen and bathroom designs which add an aesthetic touch while creating a safe, non-slip surface for greater stability.

9. Offering voice control technology that allows users to operate electronic devices without having to physically manipulate buttons or controllers with impaired motor skills or vision challenges.

10. Installing adjustable countertops, sinks and other surfaces which offer more flexibility in how the space is used by people of different heights and physical abilities.

How to Design A Universally Designed Utility Room?

When designing a universally designed utility room in your own home, it is important to consider the needs of all users.

It should be designed with diversity in mind, taking into consideration age, ability level, size and other factors that may affect its use.

There are several key elements to keep in mind when designing a universally accessible space:

1. Clear Pathways: Make sure pathways throughout the room are wide enough for wheelchairs and those with disabilities to easily access all areas of the room. Design pathways to allow two-way traffic and provide ramps when needed.

2. Accessible Shelving: Provide ample storage options that can accommodate wheelchairs as well as people of different heights or abilities. Consider adjustable or pull down shelving units as needed. Keep commonly used items within easy reach.

3. Ergonomic Workspace: Include an ergonomically designed work surface at an accessible height. The workspace should allow for a wheelchair to pull up underneath and have knee clearance. Consider lever-style faucets and other features that are easy to use.

4. Safety Features: Include safety features such as non-slip flooring, adequate lighting, emergency call systems and clearly marked exits. Keep the floor clear of tripping hazards and cords out of the way.

5. Labels and Signage: Use clear and concise labels or signs to indicate the purpose and location of items.

How to Design Universally Designed Laundry Rooms?

To design a universally designed laundry room that accommodates people of all abilities, follow these guidelines:

1. Accessibility: The entry door should be at least 32 inches wide to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. Include a zero-threshold entry if possible to eliminate any lips or edges that could trip someone. The layout should allow for adequate maneuvering space with a minimum of 32 inches between appliances and fixtures.

2. Counter Height: Install counters and controls at varying heights to accommodate those in wheelchairs as well as children and shorter adults. Include a section of lower counter, around 29 inches high, as well as a standard height counter.

3. Appliance Controls: Choose appliances with controls that are easy to reach, see and operate. This could include large knobs, levers instead of buttons and digital displays with adjustable brightness.

Rearrange controls so the most commonly used ones are within easy reach.

4. Storage: Include a mix of storage options at varying heights. Install some cabinets with pull-out drawers and shelves as well as hanging storage for laundry supplies. Make sure all storage is clearly labeled and easy to access.

5. Seating: Include a sturdy chair or bench so people can sit while loading and unloading the machines. Choose seating that is stable, allows for easy transfer and has armrests.

What Is Universal Design In Furniture?

The term Universal Design in furniture is a concept that takes into account the needs of people with disabilities when designing products.

By taking into account factors such as height, weight, movement and reachability, Universal Design ensures that furniture can be used by all individuals regardless of their physical limitations.

The goal of Universal Design is also to reduce any potential barriers faced by those with limited mobility, such as a lack of appropriate seating or having to reach items that are too high.

Universal Design in furniture looks at the ways in which products can be adapted and modified so that everyone can benefit from them.

This includes things like adjustable height chairs and desks, ergonomic design for user comfort, and built-in storage solutions.

Universal Design Furniture has the potential to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing, creating a space that is inviting and enjoyable for everyone.

Some features of Universal Design Furniture include:

1. Adjustable height chairs and desks that can be adapted to users’ individual needs.

2. Ergonomic design that provide comfort and support for different body sizes and shapes.

3. Built-in storage solutions, such as drawers or shelving, which save space and keep clutter out of sight.

4. Easy-to-reach controls, handles and knobs to make furniture more accessible.

5. Non-slip surfaces or textured materials that can prevent slipping or tripping when using furniture.

6. Wheels for easy movement of the furniture, as well as for moving it to different locations. However, wheels are not recommended for chairs as this will create a fall risk.

7. Versatile seating options, like benches and ottomans, that can be used for a variety of tasks.

8. Durable materials and construction that are designed to last for many years without needing replacements or repairs.

Universal design in furniture is all about making the space around you more comfortable and livable.

By incorporating these design elements into your furniture, you can create a space that is more accessible for everyone in the household.

With so many options available, it’s easy to find pieces of furniture that will fit any room or situation – giving everyone the chance to make their own adjustments as needed.

How to Design A Universally Designed Backyard?

When it comes to creating a universally designed backyard, the possibilities are almost endless.

There are numerous design elements that can be incorporated into a space to make it accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

Here are some tips on how to design a universally designed backyard:

1. Make use of ramps or slopes instead of stairs – Ramps or gentle slopes instead of steps allow for easy access for those with limited mobility.

2. Consider lighting options – Light fixtures should be strategically placed throughout the yard to ensure adequate illumination and accessibility as well as safety at night. Additionally, consider adding motion detector lights so that pathways will be illuminated when in use.

3. Add seating options – Seating areas should be provided throughout the yard to ensure everyone can comfortably rest when needed. Seating should include both traditional and unconventional styles, such as raised beds that could double for seating or planters with high backs.

4. Create multiple exterior paths – To facilitate movement throughout the yard, think of creating multiple outdoor pathways using various materials such as flagstones, pavers, mulch or even gravel. Paths should be wide enough to accommodate an electric scooter or wheelchair and have railings if necessary.

5. Incorporate a variety of textures – Different textures provide tactile interest in addition to visual appeal. Consider adding grasses, ferns, sandboxes, rocks and other elements that are interesting to touch and explore.

6. Make sure there is easy access to the yard – To ensure easy access, consider adding a ramp or wide steps that lead from the house to the backyard. Handrails are also important for those who have difficulty negotiating stairs or for anyone in general.

7. Add ground level seating – Whether it’s built in benches or portable chairs, ground level seating is essential for individuals with limited mobility. Make sure there is plenty of space for maneuverability around these areas as well as enough room for wheelchair access if necessary.

8. Include multiple levels of lighting – Different task illumination can be beneficial when creating a universally designed backyard space, such as low-level uplighting on trees and plants, strings of lights along pathways and higher point sources near seating areas. This will allow people to move around safely and easily – even when the sun sets.

9. Consider wider pathways (at least 32″) – Make sure your pathways are wide enough for wheelchairs and walkers, with a firm surface that’s not too slippery or unstable. Furthermore, ensure there is adequate railings whenever necessary as well as ramps for those who have difficulty negotiating stairs.

10. Plant native and adaptive plants – Planting local species of plants can help conserve natural resources, making them more friendly to the environment than exotic varieties, while still providing the beauty you hope to achieve in your landscape design. Additionally, adding adaptive plants such as shrubs and flowers that require minimum maintenance can also create a beautiful outdoor space without excessive effort.

11. Add movable furniture – Incorporate pieces that are easily moved, allowing for flexible space usage and creating a more open feel to your backyard design. This allows people of all ages and abilities to rearrange the furniture as needed, making it easier for everyone to interact with one another outdoors.

12. Provide shade – Shade is an important element in any outdoor room, especially when you’re dealing with a hot summer day or the sun’s glare on the patio or deck. Adding trees, umbrellas or pergolas can help provide much-needed relief from direct sunlight and create an inviting atmosphere for all visitors regardless of age.

13. Install a pool lift or ramp – If you have a swimming pool, consider installing a lift or ramp to make the area accessible for people with physical disabilities. This can also help elderly individuals enjoy the pool without needing someone’s assistance to get in and out of it.

14. Incorporate raised planting beds – Raised beds are great for adding flowers, vegetables or herbs to your backyard design and they can be easily incorporated into any style of garden. They are especially useful for wheelchair users who want to enjoy gardening but may not be able to reach down into traditional planters.

15. Install outdoor lighting – Outdoor lighting is important for everyone, but it’s particularly helpful when creating a universally designed backyard space. For instance, motion-sensing lights can help those with limited mobility get around the backyard safely after dark.

16. Choose non-slip surfaces – Slippery surfaces are a major safety hazard when making universal design modifications to your backyard. Consider using textured tiles or outdoor rugs to ensure everyone stays safe from slips and falls.

17. Incorporate low maintenance plants – When selecting plants and landscaping materials, opt for those that require minimal care and maintenance. This will make it easier for everyone to keep up with the upkeep of the backyard without additional help or assistance.

18. Implement safety features – Make sure that your yard is safe for all users by adding motion sensors, security lights, and other safety devices such as railings along pathways or steps. You can also consider investing in a pool cover or fence around any water features to prevent accidents from occurring.

How To Design A Universally Designed Pool?

When designing a pool for use by all people, regardless of their ability level, there are several factors that must be taken into consideration.

First and foremost, the design should ensure safety for everyone using it—this means having appropriate depths and making sure that entrances and exits are easily accessible.

Second, access to the pool needs to be accounted for; ideally this means providing multiple points of entry into the water as well as ramps or chairs for those with mobility impairments.

The pool should have a wide range of depths so that swimmers can find an area comfortable for them no matter what their abilities may be. Handrails around the entire perimeter also provide additional support.

It is equally important to plan out how the pool will be used and the types of activities that are allowed. Pool chairs, flotation devices, hoists, and other assistive equipment may need to be included in order to make all activities accessible for everyone.

In addition to providing access to the water itself, consideration must also be given to how people can move safely around the pool deck.

This means properly labeling exits and entrances as well as having platforms or ramps at different locations so that wheelchair users can access the deck easily.

It is important to also provide barriers around deep areas of the pool. This includes making sure there are no features such as drains or steps that could present a tripping hazard.

Finally, signage should identify hazards and alert swimmers when they are entering a deep area of the pool.

How to Design A Universal Design Shed?

Designing a shed for universal use requires careful consideration of the intended purpose and available space.

It is important to consider the size, shape, materials, and features that will make it useful for many different purposes.

A well-designed shed can be used as a workshop, garden tool storage, general outdoor storage area, or even a place to simply hangout .

When deciding on the size of your shed, you should think about how much space you want to allocate for each purpose.

If you are planning on using the shed primarily for gardening tools and equipment then you may want to build a larger structure than if you plan on using it mainly for storing small items.

Additionally, if there is limited space in your backyard or garden then choosing a smaller shed may be more appropriate.

When it comes to materials, there are a variety of options available including wood, metal, and plastic.

Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages so you should research different products carefully before making your decision.

For example, wood is often the most attractive option but can be more expensive than other materials and may require regular maintenance such as painting or staining.

Metal sheds can offer greater durability but they tend to cost more up front and may not have enough insulation for colder climates.

Plastic sheds are usually the least expensive option but they don’t typically last as long as other materials.

The next step in designing a universally shed is to plan out how it will be used.

This includes deciding where the door will go, what size the shed will be, and what type of shelving or storage containers you would like to include.

It’s also important to consider how much access you want from outside.

For example, a shed that can only be accessed through a small door may not be suitable for tools or items that need to be frequently accessed.

Finally, you should think about ways to make your shed look great.

This could include painting it with bright colors or adding decorations such as flowers or flags around the doors.

Adding a weathervane to the top is also a great way to make your shed stand out while still being functional. With some creativity and planning, you can create an attractive and practical storage space for all seasons!

Universal Home Modifications Can Make A Person’s Life Easier…

1. Installing ramps for wheelchair access and/or for individuals who are unable to use stairs.

2. Lowering light switches, appliance controls, cabinets, and countertops so they are accessible from a seated position.

3. Installing grab bars in bathrooms and showers for added balance and stability while bathing or showering.

4. Adding non-slip flooring in all areas likely to get wet or slippery, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

5. Replacing older handles with lever style handles on doors, faucets and other items around the home.

6. Installing a wheelchair lift or elevator, if the person needs to navigate multiple levels of the house without using stairs.

7. Replacing traditional doorknobs with hands-free, foot-activated devices that allow individuals with limited fine motor skills the ability to open and close doors by pushing down on a lever, pad, or button.

8. Adding ramps over thresholds for smooth transitions from one room to another as well as between outside areas and inside for easy access for wheelchairs and/or mobility aids.

9. Replacing existing steps in front of the home with low-level ramps.

10. Replacing high-pile carpets with low-pile carpeting, throw rugs, or non-slip floor tiles that are easier to maneuver wheelchairs and mobility aids on.

11. Widening doorways for increased access to rooms throughout the house, including bathrooms for wheelchairs and other mobility aids such as walkers or canes.

12. Lowering electrical outlets, light switches and thermostats so they are accessible from a seated position (such as a wheelchair).

13. Installing lever door handles instead of doorknobs to increase accessibility, as well as installing motion sensor lights.

14. Adding a stairlift (or chair lift) for individuals with mobility impairments who need assistance getting up and down stairs safely.

15. Building an accessible entryway so that individuals using wheelchairs can enter the house comfortably without having to step over any thresholds or door frames.

16. Replacing existing counters, sinks and cabinets with those that are wheelchair-accessible height to allow independent use in the kitchen.

Hire A Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist For Your Home Remodel Or New Home

A certified aging in place specialist (CAPS) is a professional who has been specifically trained to help older adults age in place safely and comfortably.

CAPS-certified professionals have the skills and knowledge to assess the unique needs of seniors and make recommendations for products and services that can help them live independently.

They also have a network of resources and contacts that they can connect seniors with, if needed.

If you or a loved one is interested in aging in place, working with a CAPS-certified professional can help ensure that your home is safe and comfortable, and that you have the resources and support you need to age independently.

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