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Easterseals Iowa Assistive Technology Program
Universal Home Design
“Universal design” or UD is a way to make a home open to everyone. UD makes the home comfortable and easy for different people at different stages of their lives. Universal design are ideas are practical; make your home a more accessible place to live now, and avoid costly changes in the future. An average home is designed for a healthy, fit man of average height. UD uses simple ideas to make any home open to:
  • Families with young children
  • Baby boomers who want to stay in their homes as they grow older
  • Seniors who want to simplify their housekeeping
  • Individuals who are taller or shorter than average
  • People who use wheelchairs or walkers

 The Easter Seals Iowa Assistive Technology Program has an on-line guide on UD for homes. Use the guide to work with a contractor to build a new house or remodel your existing home. It has a checklist for each area of the house:

  • Site planning and landscaping
  • General floor plan
  • Step-free entry
  • Entrance; Kitchen
  • Bathroom; Laundry
  • Bedrooms, living and dining and storage
  • Garage, doorways and hallways
  • Floors and windows
  • Stairs
  • Electrical outlets and controls
The booklet shows essential ways to adapt your home with limited resources. Most of these features are low cost and do not require any changes to the structure of your home. The guide also lists additional, non-essential ways to modify each room to make it even more livable.