022: The design of our homes profoundly affects our health.

“Your home should be the great equalizer – where your disability doesn’t matter.”

021: Finding a place for everything in the bathroom.

We discuss some uniquely universal ways to cut down on clutter plus keep things organized and accessible.

020: The tale of two kitchens in one!

Our design advisors weigh in on a kitchen design. Is it a good fit or a poor fit?

019: What do mock airline flights & demonstration homes have in common?

Experiential education! Deeper understanding is gained when people can practice tasks then apply lessons learned to their life.

Categories
Education

Costs to build are rising.

Hannah Hoyt takes a deep dive into a number of issues related to the costs of multifamily housing in her newly-published report with Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, More for Less? An Inquiry into Design and Construction Strategies for Addressing Multifamily Housing Costs. It’s worth a read. There’s a lot to talk about, but […]

018: “How does inaccessibility impact your health?”

“It was not until I actually gained more access in and out of the house that my health truly got better. My mental health went up and I felt more worth than I had felt before.” -James

017: What is it like interning with us?

Kati reflects on her experience as an occupational therapy student and discusses how she promoted our organization and her future profession.

Categories
Advocacy

The average age of a home in the US is 46 years old!

We should be designing universally accessible homes for future generations now.

Categories
Advocacy

Households with a member with a disability have 36% less income than those without.

People with disabilities regularly compromise on housing based on what’s financially accessible, often negatively affecting physical and mental health.

016: Housing and Collaboration: Stories from the Field

Experiences as occupational therapists collaborating with building and design professionals.

015: Freestanding tubs, are they safe?

Even though these tubs are a current design trend, we polled our Design Advisors and they all agree this product’s design isn’t safe for most people.

014: When lights don’t work even when they’re on.

Collaboration between an occupational therapist and a lighting designer will result in exterior lighting that’s a good fit for everyone.

013: Good Bathroom Design is a Confidence Builder

Kati, an occupational therapy student, shares a story about how her client was able to look and feel her best for a special event because her bathroom was universally designed.

Categories
Education

Smart Home Technology

There are several “smart” devices that improve the functionality and safety of a home. They’re great options for universal design.

012: Social distancing, isolation, and mental health

Our thoughts: Social distancing is now mandatory in the US due to COVID-19, but some people with disabilities experience social isolation every day.

011: Are “stramps” universally designed?

We discuss how the internet isn’t always accurate in the description of universal design, and what our Design Advisors thought of this ramp/stair design.

010: When you question if that backyard party is worth it or not

A backyard party at someone’s home turns from excitement to heartbreak when you have to question if you can attend the due to inaccessibility.

009: Benefits of a Well-Designed Garden

Sarah discusses how her friend increased the functionality of her garden by using raised garden beds and how an outdoor space improves mental health.

Categories
Journal

Renovations are costly…

Implementing accessibility at the start of a new design project will save you time and money.

008: Research about interprofessional design

We discuss 3 themes from a peer-reviewed article: form versus function, the earlier the better, and universal design as a specialist area.

007: Do no-step entrances matter?

Of course they do. We’re talking about universal design! Listen to Julie & Jackson’s story. You’ll learn about what they have to do just to visit family or friends.

Categories
Advocacy

Occupational Therapy and Our Role in Housing

This article unpacks three practice settings in which an an occupational therapist could collaborate with professionals in the home building industry.

Categories
Journal

The Blueprints of My Doctoral Project

Kati briefly explains the OT profession and introduces her doctoral capstone project.

006: Mail & Macular Degeneration

Kati recounts a story about a patient who broke a hip and had struggles with a common yet meaningful task.

005: Small garages don’t work well.

Sarah shares a story & some thoughts about the functionality of parking areas. It’s the little things that make a big difference for universal design!

Categories
Advocacy

Different has to be experienced.

We run The Universal Design Project on software called Basecamp. The company that created Basecamp is on the verge of releasing a new email system called Hey. What’s interesting about this is that they’re declaring email “broken” and are more or less redesigning the way people interact with email. Here’s a recent tweet from their […]

Categories
Advocacy

There’s a 60% Probability…

“In the United States of America, it has been estimated that there is a 60% probability that any new house will be occupied by a person with a functional impairment over its life span.” Smith SK, Rayer S, Smith EA. Aging and disability: implications for the housing industry and housing policy in the United States. […]

Categories
Advocacy

Prevalence of Accessible Housing in the U.S.

The United States has an accessible housing problem: there aren’t enough available options.

004: Invisible Disabilities & Universal Design

Sarah and Kati talk about various universal design features to increase function for those living with invisible disabilities.

Categories
Design Projects

Results from student-led design exercises

Check out some drawings, 3D renders, and a floor plan of a universally designed home.