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Our Story

Home renovations and home improvements can be stressful at the best of times, for those of us who want to consider the needs of the wheel chair bound or elderly, the stress levels can get even higher.

This is the place I found myself.

Early in April 2006 my partner Desireé suffered a significant stroke while we were on holidays interstate. Months on, she is still in full time rehabilitation and together we are facing a lengthy period of her being wheel chair bound.

We live and work in Sydney Australia and are fortunate enough to own a duplex house on the far south coast of New South Wales. We intend to renovate this duplex so that not only is it friendly to Desireé and I but will also provides a easy living holiday venue for those families that have similar accessibility issues. We hope to involve the private sector in this project. It will be an ideal vehicle to showcase products in a hands on environment. 

We are going to use the seven principles of universal design to guide the project.

  • Principle 1 : Equitable Use
    The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.
  • Principle 2 : Flexibility in Use
    The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
  • Principle 3 : Simple and Intuitive Use
    Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.
  • Principle 4 : Perceptible Information
    The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions of the user's sensory abilities.
  • Principle 5 : Tolerance for Error
    The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
  • Principle 6 : Low Physical Effort
    The design can be used efficiently and comfortably, and with a minimum of fatigue.
  • Principle 7 : Size and Space for Approach and Use
    Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use, regardless of the user's body size, posture, or mobility.

I want to invite you to travel this journey with me via this website.

This website will be a hands on account of the trials, tribulations, hurdles and delights that we encounter on that journey. We intend to use a “call them as we see them” approach to the regulations, bureaucracy, products and services that we encounter and use during the process.

I expect service and product providers to also contribute to this site and the project as part of their online marketing efforts. Any such supplier's names and logos will link back to their website and to a page on this website that details any contributions that have been made to the project. This way the site can remain transparent and objective.

The site framework is under construction and we hope to go live over the next few weeks. The home renovation project will be active over the next 12 to 18 months and I intend to keep the website active for the next 5 years.

Please join me, our journey has just begun, we take it one day at a time.

For more information please email me at alex@universaldesignrenovations.com

© Universal Design Renovations – A Home Renovations Resource for Wheel Chair Accessibility and Ageing in Place

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