Monthly Archives: June 2013

Accessible Bathroom Remodeling Options

  1. Wet Room Systems: A wet room is a fully water tight bathroom with a “walk-in” shower area that is usually level with the surrounding floor, but with a slight slope to the drain which is fitted directly into the floor. Wet rooms typically have tiled walls and floors and the shower section is usually partitioned off with glass walls and a glass shower door. Wet rooms are particularly useful where level entry to the shower area is essential – for instance, for use by someone in a wheelchair. A wet room is more versatile than a conventional shower, which would typically have a raised entrance into the shower. The wet room tray and enclosure provides ease of accessibility and also gives additional options in bathroom design.
  2. Barrier Free Showers: Selected for their ease of installation, a strong structural base and integrated wood backing, barrier-free showers are ideal for both residential and commercial use for the disabled and those aging in place. A well-designed barrier free shower minimizes the chances of being installed in a non-barrier free manner, having grab bars installed without proper backing, and also reduces installation costs by installing directly on floor joists, sub-flooring and concrete surface.Accessible bathrooms
  3. Roll-In Showers: A well designed walk-in shower can be easily installed and can make a shower much more accessible for those in wheelchairs. Roll-in showers are designed so there is no need to step up or step over a barrier at the entrance to the shower. Selected for it roll-in design, ease of installation, structural base and integrated wood backing, walk-in showers can be used for residential or commercial purposes. The design minimizes the chances of being installed in a non-accessible manner or having grab bars installed without proper backing.
  4. Doored Bathtubs: A premier bariatric bathing system for easy transition in and out of the tub, doored bathtubs are a solution for those with size and weight mobility issues. Doored bathtubs can be built-in or have free-standing side access. These tubs have a low threshold door to enable easy entry and exit, with or without a transfer device. With its full front and side panels, it can be installed either against a wall or in a corner. With the contoured interior, a bather can sit comfortably in a slightly reclined position. Carefully designed, they accommodate the user without sacrificing installation space and look polished in homes and institutions.
  5. Accessories: Grab Bars and Shower Seats: A simple solution for balance and stability, grab bars are one of the easiest ways to provide support and balance in the bathroom area for anyone with mobility issues. They can be useful almost anywhere in the bathroom, for getting on and off the toilet, for moving into and out of the tub, for stability in the shower or at the sink, or as handrails for navigation about the space. A wide variety of grab bars are available, from standard wall mounted grab bars, swing up grab bars or pole grab bars. Shower seats or shower chairs are designed for anyone who is wheelchair-bound or for those who find it difficult to stand for periods of time. They are wall mounted and come in a variety of sizes and shapes to provide a sense of security in the shower. Many varieties of shower seats are available and can fit the decor of a bathroom remodeling project.

United Disabilities Services has been assisting with home modifications for the disabled, veterans and those aging in place for many years and offers extensive expertise and experience in the home modifications field. Visit the UDS eStore for products that have been evaluated by the UDS team for use in home modifications.



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Achieving safety and independence in the bathroom

Achieving safety and independence 6 18 13Independence in the bathroom is one of the most daunting tasks for accessibility and safety in the home. No matter the disability, the bathroom is almost always one of the most challenging rooms in which to maneuver. It’s difficult to feel at home, much less feel safe, if you don’t have secure access in your own bathroom.

Achieving safety and independence with bathroom modifications is possible with the right products, but there are added benefits as well. For example:

  • Customization: Modifying a bathroom is, by definition, a very individualized project. It includes making alterations to a living space to meet the needs of physical limitations or aging needs in order to live more independently. A customized bathroom space will depend on an individual’s needs, preferences, and space available.
  • Aesthetics: Accessibility doesn’t mean stark or institutional. An accessible bathroom can be as beautiful and luxurious as you imagine it to be. Beautiful tile, stylish sinks and modern fixtures don’t have to be sacrificed and can easily accommodate accessibility, independence and safety.
  • Safety: True accessible modifications are primarily focused on altering spaces for safe movement and creating a safe flow. Safety can range from something as simple as strategically placing a grab bar for balance to completing a full bathroom remodel.

Next time, we’ll discuss the many elegant options available that can lend design pizzazz to an accessible bathroom remodeling project. Visit the UDS eStore at


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Obedience Classes for Your Dog

UDS Obedience ClassesDid you know United Disabilities Services is now offering expert training classes for your dog?

Want a happy, well-behaved dog? UDS now offers Basic Obedience classes for your favorite canine! Learn proven methods and techniques for building a healthy relationship with your pooch. You’ll work directly with the same trainers who prepare the UDS Service Dogs to help with a myriad of daily tasks. Discover this great new UDS Service Dogs program for the community and help your dog be his best! One-on-one training is also available and all proceeds benefit the UDS Service Dogs program.

You and your dog will learn:

  • How to better communicate
  • Basic obedience instructions – sit, down, come, heel, stay, etc.
  • Socialization with other dogs and people

Call for class schedules and tuition, 717.397.1841.

Location:  1905 Olde Homestead Lane, Lancaster

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Selecting a Contractor for Home Modifications — Part 3 — Tailoring the Job to Your Needs

UDS Home ModificationsFind a contractor who’s willing to listen and provide a home modification tailored to your specific needs. Home accessibility is a specialized niche within the design and construction fields and while many reputable and skilled contractors are now entering the growing ‘aging in place’ market, they may not understand your physical and functional needs as well as they understand construction. It is vital that you educate them on your needs and play an active role in the design process.

Consider visiting the National Association of Home Builders at and searching their CAPS Directory to find a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist in your area who is familiar with performing accessibility design or construction work, as well as being evaluated by an Occupational or Physical Therapist who can provide a report on functional considerations that must be taken into account when creating design solutions, such as an individual’s safest method of transfer. Oftentimes, combining the design and construction expertise of an experienced contractor with the disability-specific knowledge of a trusted medical professional can yield better individualized solutions.

And, don’t forget to reach out to the Accessibility Specialists at UDS Accessible Home Modifications for expert tips and guidance! UDS has been working directly with people with disabilities to support their independence since 1965 and we are happy to put our experience to work for you, from initial product selection though construction troubleshooting. Just contact us at 888-428-0240 or to let us know how we can best serve you.

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