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Thread: Designing showers for improved accessibility

  1. #1
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    Designing showers for improved accessibility

    Hello,

    My name is Paul Barnes and I'm a 4th-year Industrial Design student at North Carolina State University. I'm conducting research for a design project that aims to create an improved pre-made curbless (AKA zero-threshold or roll-in) shower basin. My group and I are looking to design a product that is visually appealing, inclusive of interior design and construction factors, simpler to install, and most importantly increases accessibility and decreases fall risk. In the next generation of bathroom products, we see the potential for this research to make a real difference in increasing the availability of safer and more comfortable shower options to the disabled community.

    To do this, we'll be interviewing the following participant groups:

    - Shower users with disabilities
    - Shower users with young children
    - Older shower users
    - Design showroom employees or managers
    - Hotel managers
    - Hotel housekeeping staff
    - Interior designers and architects
    - Kitchen & bath contractors and remodelers (general, plumbing, tile, glass)
    - Homeowners who have remodeled

    If any of the above apply to you, your input would be valuable to us. If you're interested, you can use this link to our survey. Interviews are very helpful, so please let me know if you're available to be contacted regarding scheduling one.

    Feel free to respond with any questions or comments in this forum or at my email, dpbarnes@ncsu.edu. I'm looking forward to seeing how we can work with the community to address this challenge.

    Example of a barrier-free shower:
    highlight-demo1.jpg
    Last edited by dpbarnes; 14-09-16 at 21:16.

  2. #2
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    what happened to age 55-65? Try again mate!

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    The other question is how much are you going to charge to come from North Carolina to 'Work with community' here in the UK?
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  4. #4
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    When he says work with the community I believe he means figuratively and not physically.

    It's research to what seems to be a good cause potentially in aid of a dissertation? I personally am all for it - If it could potentially aid disabled people in the future it's something I think many could benefit from. Let's give the team a chance.

    Zed

  5. #5
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    Good catch, thank you for the feedback. I did check the link but should have gone through the survey before sending...I apologize for the lapse in professionalism. As of now we've fixed the survey and updated the link.

    In regards to nukecad's question, we're doing a lot of local interviews and other research, but I was also referring to the online community of this and other forums. I don't mean to be presumptuous in this matter, and we wanted to reach out to you all because we value a variety of opinions. I'll also add that we've been in contact with a UK-based bath company with locations in North America about developing this product.

  6. #6
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    i would suggest you do more research online. there are a number of companies who already do this work - at least here in the UK. The big issue for many disabled people is PRICE!! Sure if i had £10,000 I could have a lovely bathroom. But I don't have that money. Second problem, some of us are in rented accom, where the landlord has to either give permission or is under no obligation to fund the work himself.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Kodiak's Avatar
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    I had a new Shower unit with wet floor fitted in four weeks ago and it is fantastic.

    Cost.....£0.00 as it was done through Occupational Therapist, Social Services and my Housing Association.
    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    The Local Authority can offer a Disabled Facilities Grant to people who need major adaptations to their home. It's means tested which means if you have savings you will have to contribute some or you might not be eligible for a grant.

    The grant is open to home owners and social housing tenants via their landlord.

    Invariable the Local Authority will combine a wet-room and external ramp into one job.

    I gave up with trying to find a grant but it does mean I'll have to fund my own wet-room to the tune of £8,500.

    Here are the plans - not ideal but it's level access even with a concrete floor. This style shower may be OK for now but if I get worse this might need to be revamped again. The square shape with the diagonals indicates where a shallow tray will sit to collect the spray. Notice there's no shower curtain or glass door/screen.

    Last edited by Lighttouch; 15-09-16 at 16:39.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Is that door wide enough LT?

    I'm assuming that your not looking to get a wheelchair in there but you might want/need to in future.

    UK building control recommend 830mm (minimum 800mm) clear opening for wheelchair access.

    Just a thought; it may be as well to consider getting a wider door put in while you are having the work done.
    Probably add another wodge of cost though.
    Last edited by nukecad; 15-09-16 at 16:57.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Well spotted. The door width is just 27 inches not the standard 30 inches as presently there's a 500mm radiator to the right of the door. In the drawing fhey've moved the heated towel rail to under the window on the right.

    Knocking part of brick walls down involves electrician, plumber, joiner, builder plaster and decorator, carpet fitter. The bill would run into four figures to widen the door a few inches.

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