Home and work modifications are changes made to adapt living spaces and work environments to meet the needs of individuals with physical and/or sensory impairments. We can work with architects or developers to make recommendations, suggestions, and to make sure that the concepts of universal design (sometimes called barrier-free design) and architectural accessibility are being used. Universal design refers to creating new products and environments that can be used by all individuals without the need for adaptation as well as adapting existing products when needed. Using these concepts, architects, rehabilitation engineers, and assistive technology specialists are designing new homes and modifying existing ones so that they are suitable for individuals throughout their lives ― with disabilities or without disabilities.

These modifications may include adding assistive technology, installing adaptable and/or other equipment, making structural changes and/or other modifications. Comprehensive Rehabilitation Consultants’ experts will evaluate the home or work area and suggest, as needed, the implementation of the best and most cost-effective solutions.

Examples include:

For individuals with mobility impairments:

  • Place grab bars in the bathroom for the tub, shower and toilet
  • Install roll-in/walk-in shower
  • Install wheelchair ramps and widen doorways
  • Modify shelving in bathrooms and kitchens to be accessible from lower heights or so that it can be pulled out or rotated
  • Install stair lift to allow access to upper floors of home

For individuals with visual impairments:

  • Denote increments of temperature on a stove with fabric paint
  • Install telephones with large-print key pads
  • Make certain that stairway railings extend beyond the top and bottom steps
  • Modify lighting fixtures and bulbs to accommodate low-vision sensitivity

For individuals with hearing impairments:

  • Install telephones (TTY) and doorbells that ring loudly and/or simultaneously flash light
  • Install smoke detectors and fire alarms that use strobe light and/or high volume alarm
  • Replace an alarm clock with a vibrating bed shaker signaling device
  • Evaluate the need for thicker flooring that minimizes background noise for those who find it problematic, or thinner flooring for those who rely on vibrations.

For individuals with cognitive impairments:

  • Safety first ― remove or protect all potentially dangerous items such as power tools, irons, and knives
  • Many individuals with dementia wander – install safety gates at stairways to prevent falls and decals on glass doors
  • Assistive technology to computerize environmental controls such as heat and air conditioning

For more information, please contact the Case Management department.