For people with disabilities and older adults, living independently in the community is important. However, the houses, condos, and apartments in their community of choice may present challenges [CJ1] for them, such as stairs to enter or exit, fall hazards, and communications technology. Home modifications may help people with disabilities and older adults to live independently. NARIC’s information specialists are often asked for information on home modification by our patrons. To help our readers with questions about home modifications, we would like to highlight some of the consumer products by the NIDILRR community for people with disabilities, older adults, their families, and the professionals who support them. These consumer products may include factsheets, guides, calendars, comics, courses, and more.
Below, you will find just a few examples of evidence-based consumer products produced by the NIDILRR community:
- [CJ2] Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) to Support Aging-in-Place for People with Long-Term Disabilities (TechSAge RERC II) advances knowledge and accelerates the development, modification, and testing of technology-based interventions and strategies for use in the home and community to promote aging-in-place and reduce secondary conditions among people with long-term disabilities. The consumer products by this Center include a set of three podcasts that discuss topics related to home modification, such as assistive technology, universal design, home remodeling, and smart home technologies.
- The RERC for Wireless Inclusive Technologies (Wireless RERC) creates and promotes inclusive wireless technologies that improve the ability of people with disabilities and older adults to independently perform activities of their choice at home and in their communities. The Wireless RERC has produced consumer products that range from a three-part video tutorial series and an audio guide on setting up the Amazon Echo at home to their YouTube channel that includes videos on how screen reading technology assists in making home offices more accessible and a video on Pepper, a social robot that assist people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and gives caregivers respite.
- The Home Usability Program was developed under the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Promoting Interventions for Community Living (2011-2017). The program includes the Home Usability Program Plan, which consumers can use to identify usability issues within their home and plan for and execute necessary modifications. Consumers can work with their local Center for Independent Living (a facilitators guide is also available) to plan for improvements and modifications. This factsheet describes the program and how it was developed and tested.
To learn more about these and other products from the NIDILRR community, contact NARIC’s information specialists.