083: Intro to UD Courses

Good Fit Poor Fit
Good Fit Poor Fit
083: Intro to UD Courses

Show Notes:

Course Content: https://go.universaldesign.org/

Course 1 (free): The State of Accessible Housing

Course 6 (free): Non-Clinical Occupational Therapy Practice Settings

If you are an OT in a clinic, maybe the manager of your clinic or work in academia, send me a message over email: [email protected] and I can send you a link specifically outlining how you can get this content for the OTs on your team or the OT students that you have.


Sarah: [00:00:00] You’re listening to Good Fit Poor Fit. Our podcast is part of the UD Project, a small business rooted in occupational therapy that looks at how the design of a home environment impacts how well people of different ages and abilities perform everyday activities. We chat about this unique perspective to boost your knowledge and help you consider what can be changed in communities like yours.

Learn more about our work at universaldesign.org.

 Hi, Good Fit Poor Fit listeners. It’s just me and Rebecca today for our episode. It’s been a bit since we’ve been behind the microphone for new podcast episodes, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been focused on other things behind the scenes. We’ve completed some online video- based educational content at the UD Project and wanted to use this episode of Good Fit Poor Fit to tell you all about the content and where to get it.

Rebecca: [00:01:00] Yes, indeed. Though we haven’t been podcasting as much, there has been a whole lot going on here at the Universal Design Project. And through Sarah and Scott’s tireless efforts, plus the support of several students who have been with the organization, there are now some really awesome ways for you to learn more about Universal Design. They touch on some of the stuff that we discuss here on the podcast… universal in general, interprofessional collaboration, inclusive home design, but they take these topics even further, so it’s really exciting stuff that we can now offer. Sarah, where did the idea for these great courses come from?

Sarah: Well, let’s rewind back a few years . You may remember a student named Rachel Melvin. She actually did a few podcasts with us, but helped us launch this idea of educational content about many of the topics we’ve been covering here on the podcast and in person presentations to people in the community and OTs.

We thought it would be great to have a bunch of specific content that’s [00:02:00] easily organized and all in one place for people to boost their knowledge and then use that information in their work or their own personal lives. The idea was born and we got to work.

Rebecca: Yep, so it’s been a long time that this idea has been cooking. At the Universal Design Project, we believe that education to a wide variety of people can help boost the demand for universal design in our communities. If more people know about it, more consumers can start asking and advocating for more accessible homes. So, Sarah, I think our listeners would like to know how we made these trainings.

Sarah: Definitely. So we set up a little mini studio in our office and began organizing and writing our content. It was extremely difficult to find pictures of homes with accessible features, much less entirely universally designed spaces, so we spent a lot of time creating images to match the concepts we feel are very important for people to [00:03:00] understand when thinking about these concepts and features in their home for optimal function.

I do want to give a quick shout out to all those who helped us along the way with the organization of this content, the content creation and the usability of our courses. So again, a special thanks to Rachel for getting us started with the project, as well as Nate, Alee, Ashley, Daniel-Hannah, Brittany, Kaylee, and Anisha.

In addition, a lot of feedback that we received from our design advisors in the past went directly into the courses to explain the usability of most of the features we discussed.

Rebecca: And just to hop in here, if you’ve not listened to the podcast before and aren’t familiar with our design advisors, they’re folks who have lived experience as a person with a disability or are a professional who works with people with disabilities, and they weigh in on our design projects, so they’re an invaluable resource to our work because they provide feedback based on their experiences about a house design or a space or a product and [00:04:00] how it may work for them. And those varying perspectives help us brainstorm what types of designs could cast the widest, most universal net. But, before I digress too much, Sarah, can you tell the folks a bit more about the content of the trainings?

Sarah: Sure. Some of the courses that we have are free and others can be purchased individually or in a bundle for you to get the details quickly. They are video- based, like I said, and you can actually track your progress as you go through the content. So you don’t have to remember where you are. The system does that for you.

If you’re looking for something free, just to even test the waters on the information of it, course one, The State of Accessible Housing is great for advocacy and education, and just really learning about what is currently in the housing stock regarding accessible homes. I’ll give you a hint. It’s not that many homes and how that affects people’s lives.

We also go into the challenges of developing more accessible homes.

Rebecca: So that course is kind of the [00:05:00] foundation. The next three courses are the heart of the content that we’ve created. The next few are meant to help people learn how to design new spaces, change current spaces, or increase safety on a budget using adaptations.

Sarah: Definitely. That is a perfect way to describe these, Rebecca. So course two, Design Guidelines for Universally Accessible Homes, is a deep dive into the many necessary universal design features that make an entire home usable by all people to the greatest extent possible. If you’re building new, doing a major renovation, this course is for you.

We also have printable guides and easy-to-scan measurements separated by each area of the home. Course three is Modifications for Non-Accessible Homes. And this is super helpful for therapists helping patients to get home safely, or if you’re trying to figure out what to do with your own home to make it safer.

Another great use is if you’re moving and need to decide if that home [00:06:00] is easily modifiable. We discuss common barriers to modify a home, and why it’s important for all ages and abilities. And if you love a good gadget or you’re an OT looking to help patients become more independent without spending a ton of money, course four Adaptations for Everyday Tasks is for you. Pictures, descriptions, and even links to purchase the item, we give you a lot of ideas and techniques to make life at home a little easier and safer.

Rebecca: I know Sarah had mentioned that Course 4 would be good for our gadget lovers and OTs working with people to become more independent, but really, all three of these courses would be great to have on hand for any therapist in the clinic or community that are working with any group of people. Course five is called Collaborative Teams for Optimal Outcomes, and this is more for people looking to collaborate, which we talk about a lot on this podcast. Learning about co-designing homes with people [00:07:00] who have different perspectives about accessibility. No one knows it all. And it’s really important to work together. And course six is called Non-Clinical Occupational Therapy Practice Settings. And this is also free and gives a lot of great information about non- traditional OT practice and several OTs share their journeys so that you can learn a bit more about them.

Sarah: Yep. And there is really a little bit of something for everyone in all of these courses. And I do have to mention here that the lovely Rebecca is even featured in this last one, course six. So if you want to know about her and some of the other work she’s focused on, I will post that link in this show notes.

So it’s easy to find

Rebecca: Yes, thank you. I appreciate the shout out there. But really, that’s the least interesting part about that course or any of the other ones. I know that there are a lot of OT students and current practitioners who are curious about the non-traditional world, and so that course is a really great resource for them to check out.

Sarah: Most definitely. And before we jump off here, I want [00:08:00] to share how to get these courses onto your computer. We have them linked in the show notes and have a variety of plans from the everyday person looking for good content and how to make their home more functional and plans for OTs in clinics and academia.

If you are an OT in a clinic, maybe the manager of your clinic or work in academia, send me a message over email: [email protected] and I can send you a link specifically outlining how you can get this content for the OTs on your team or the OT students that you have. Our big goal is to help more people out there understand UD and increase the demand for it in our communities.

Grab this content and just have these tools ready to help the people you serve or your own family thrive in an environment that’s a good fit for their needs.

Rebecca: That’s right. Listeners, we hope to see you in the virtual classroom checking out all of these new offerings. If you’re interested, [00:09:00] you can go visit go.universaldesign.org and we’ll put a link in the show notes. Thanks as always for your time. Have a great day and we’ll be back in your feed soon.

Sarah: Thanks for listening to Good Fit Poor Fit. If you want to learn more… first, find more episodes with transcripts and show notes at goodfitpoorfit.com. Don’t forget to subscribe! Second, check out our courses at go.universaldesign.org.

We cover housing topics like advocacy, collaboration, home modification, universal design and task adaptations. Lastly, if you have questions or topics you’d like us to discuss, email us at [email protected]. Thanks for fitting us into your day.


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