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:
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
- 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. Download a PDF of the free checklist.