ADA - Universal Design
From: Susan Coberly (
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2012 12:44:29 -0700 (PDT)
Hello,  - this meesage is re Universal Design, which, I agree, is so much
more than ADA minimum standards compliance.

My husband used a wheelchair and also a walker. I and several persons in
our community have used one or both while recovering from broken hips, hip
and knee surgeries, etc.

The Fresno Cohousing /  La Querencia pool and spa includes a disabled lift.
[the one lift can be transferred from the poolside to spa-side - probably
not by the person who uses wheels.]  We did not request one; the community
did not request one. Actually, the community's design had called for an
elegant universal design solution - a beach entry area to be used by small
children *and* persons with disabilities to enter the pool on a gradual
downslope in a "bump out" to the lap lanes portion of the pool - but when
it came to construction we were informed that the county would not approve

While my husband never used the lift it was available for him or anyone
else differently-abled to use. and still is.

We do have lever handles on doors. (Actually our former residence -  built
in 1978 - also did.]

As for bathroom doors opening out... *unless* the bathroom into which the
door opens / from which the door opens out is large enough, you may have
solved something but be creating a whole new set of issues.

Think about this.

Picture yourself in the chair. Pull open the door. Wheel in, past the open
door, into the room.  You are facing the commode, or perhaps you are facing
the commode and an adjacent sink, both on the same wall with no appreciable
space between commode and sink. Or perhaps you are adjacent to the commode
- sideways - with your feet bumping the end wall.  Unless you can stand up,
you cannot get onto the commode.  If you cannot stand up you will need room
*inside* the bathroom to turn the chair around and park it beside the
commode, so that you can slide over sideways, but the room may not
accomodate that even if the room itself is large enough to turn the
wheelchair around [the pesky adjacent sink]. also you can't close the door
[behind you!] since it is opened out into the the hall or open space.

Always install outside-door thresholds in each* unit* and the common spaces
that a wheel-using person can wheel over without the aid of several
currently-abled-bodied people having to yank on the
stroller/wheelchair/laundry-grocery cart to convey it.

Regards,  Susan from LaQ

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