Adapting The Home For Wheelchair Use


.1 CEU
Presenter: Deborah Pierce
Business Practice, ATP Prep Content, Intermediate Level



Most homes require modifications for full accessibility. Wheelchair-user-friendly features include wider doors and hallways, ramped level-changes, lifts and elevators, zero-threshold entrances and curb-less showers, seated workspaces at kitchen and bathroom areas, with storage, appliances, thermostats, and electrical controls within reach. When illness or injury also result in sensory or cognitive impairments, additional upgrades are incorporated. Integrating these features seamlessly within the character of the house is a design challenge that translates to increased safety and comfort, greater independence, and improved property and re-sale values.
Architect and author Deborah Pierce specializes in renovating homes for people with disabilities. Through her book and frequent speaking engagements, Deb proves that accessible homes not only serve their inhabitants but are beautiful.

Learning Outcomes:
1. The participant will be able to identify the elements of an accessible path of travel throughout the home.
2. The participant will be able to describe the features, layouts, and appliances that make a kitchen accessible.
3. The participant will be able to describe the fixtures, clearances, and layouts that make a bathroom accessible.

Deborah is an award winning architect and universal design consultant, with an office outside Boston. Architectural Accessibility has been a special focus of Deborah’s work since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. As national chair of the American Institute of Architects’ Advisory Group, she initiated the AIA’s Residential Access Design Awards program, and launched a national review of the state of the art in accessible homes.
Deb speaks and writes regularly about accessible homes. Her 2012 book, The Accessible Home, published by Taunton Press, has been an Amazon best-seller. Today Deb’s practice explores architectural options for senior-friendly living, in addition to modifying home for people who use mobility devices.