I had the opportunity to see the wonderful benefits of universal design firsthand when completing my doctoral experience with The Universal Design Project. As an occupational therapy student and now an occupational therapy practitioner, I see the need for homes designed with a universal focus.
Part of my role as an OT is to ensure that my patients have a safe and accessible place to return to once discharged. Typically, a home evaluation is performed to assess the home and the patient’s ability to interact in their environment successfully.
Many homes that I have assessed are not equipped to meet the needs of individuals with various disabilities. As a result, I see the need for homes to be universally designed and more functional to accommodate individuals with disabilities. In doing so, patients will be able to access all aspects of their home with increased participation and thereby enhance their quality of life.