Tag Archives: accessible living

Accessibility Needs Checklist

Your home modification needs for achieving accessibility may be as simple as the use of grab bars or a shower seat; or you may have more complex requirements which involve a complete shower or bathtub replacement.  We recommend discussing specific needs with a qualified contractor and using the following checklist to identify the appropriate products available:

This roll-in shower makes accommodating a wheelchair a breeze.

This roll-in shower makes accommodating a wheelchair a breeze.

Specific bathroom items:

  • Swing-out doors
  • Non-slip floors
  • Grab bars
  • Reinforced walls, i.e., ¾” plywood backing throughout, for installation of grab bars
  • 5” square clear area (required for most wheelchair users to make a 360⁰ turn). Since many wheelchair users can function in smaller areas, measure exact clear floor space if less than 5’.
  • Chair-height racks/shelves/cabinets
  • Lever handled faucets
  • Lowered or tilted mirror
  • Roll-under vanity top
  • Hinged, fold-down seat in shower
  • Roll-in shower with no curb
  • Hand-held or adjustable shower head
  • Bathtub with non-skid strips or surface
  • Half-height caregiver doors
  • Toilet seat 17” – 19” from floor, or wall mounted toilet
  • Telephone outlet

General Considerations:

  • A ground level entrance clear of any major obstructions that would accept a ramp with a slope no greater than 1” height per 12” in length.
  • At least one large bathroom with a 32” clear door opening and clear 5’ X 5’ floor turnaround space
  • Wide doorways (32” – 36” clear width)
  • Wide hallways (42” – 60”)
  • Low-pile carpeting with thin padding or smooth surfaces
  • Chair-height (48” – 54”) doorbell/mailbox
  • Chair-height electrical controls/outlets (excluding the kitchen, generally controls are 6” lower and outlets are 6” higher than standard)
  • Chair-height push button telephones/jacks
  • Accessible, easily operated window controls, i.e., slide to side can be opened with one hand or less than 8 pounds of pressure, located 24” – 28” from floor
  • Audio and visual smoke detectors
  • Large windows, overhead lighting or several electrical outlets in each room (lighting is a big consideration for persons with low vision)

When engaging a contractor to make home modifications, consumers should check their references and look for specific home modification experience. A contractor who is certified in home modifications is the best selection for an accessibility solution.

UDS offers solutions that have been evaluated by the UDS team for use in home modifications.  Visit the eStore at https://estore.udservices.org.

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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 https://estore.udservices.org/.

 

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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 nahb.org 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 estore@udservices.org to let us know how we can best serve you.

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UDS eStore Changes

UDS New eStore PlatformWe’ve recently moved our eStore to a new eCommerce platform that will make your experience on the eStore more efficient and productive. You will be able to place orders much easier and, when you have registered for an account, you’ll be able to see your orders and also place reorders right from your account.

The ordering process has been simplified and you will see where you are each step of the way. In addition, estimating your shipping costs is earlier in the process so you’ll be able to know your estimated shipping costs before you get too far into the buying process.

You’ll find the forms for our catalog, signing up for the Newsletter, downloading our White Paper, and registering for a Contractor’s Account very simple and user friendly.

Explore the new eStore at the same URL:  estore.udservices.org!

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Why An Accessible Bathroom, Part II

At UDS, there are a wide variety of products to help you with making your bathroom customizable. If your bathroom modification is as simple as the strategic placement of grab bars, UDS can help you find the perfect match.  UDS offers the standard wall mounted grab bars and swing up grab bars for your home modifications. Additionally, UDS offers shower modifications for your bathroom. Both barrier free showers and walk-in showers offer customers with the complete home modification necessary to create a safe living space. Finally, UDS supplies shower seats for use in your barrier free and walk-in showers. These seats come in a variety of wall mounted styles, ranging from the standard series to premium series shower seats.Accessible Bathrooms Part II

The possibilities are endless for your next bathroom modification. It’s important to remember that you do not have to forgo style and comfort when modifying your bathroom. UDS provides superior customer service, including free equipment needs assessment, education and assistance for you and your physicians and therapists, help with insurance issues, as well as information about financial assistance. Visit our eStore today to learn more about in-home modification options!

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Why An Accessible Bathroom? Part 1

Why An Accessible BathroomNo matter the disability, the bathroom can be seen as one of the most challenging rooms to maneuver in the home. Having independence in the bathroom can be very challenging when considering accessibility and safety. While it can prove to be difficult, achieving safety and independence with bathroom modifications is not only possible, it is also customizable, attractive, and safe!

Modifying a bathroom can be seen as a very personal project. When modifying a bathroom, it’s imperative that the alterations meet the needs of the physical limitations that people are living with. These alterations lead to a customized bathroom space, and each person living with a disability has a different set of needs and preferences.

An accessible bathroom does not have to mean stark and institutional. It can be as beautiful and luxurious as you can imagine it to be. UDS provides beautiful tile, stylish sinks, and modern fixtures that help accommodate accessibility, independence, and safety.

Finally, a truly accessible modification to your bathroom is ultimately focused on safety. This space must be safe for you, ranging from something as simple as strategically placing a grab bar for balance, to something as complete as a full bathroom remodel.

Visit the UDS eStore today to learn more about in-home modification options!

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Smart Business: Hiring People With Disabilities

Hiring People With Disabilities 4 22 13All too frequently, individuals with disabilities are overlooked when applying for jobs. At UDS, we are driven to help those with disabilities find jobs through our employment services program. UDS Employment Services is designed to meet the needs of local employers and individuals with disabilities. Our counselors work one-on-one with individuals through all of phases of the employment process, from job assessment all the way to job maintenance. UDS Employment Services helps not only those looking for full-time positions, but those considering part-time, seasonal, temporary, and internship positions. To learn more about UDS Employment Services, take a look at the video.

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