row of colorful cartoon houses

images of different rooms in the home

Below you will find examples of home usability problems and solutions. You may notice that home usability problems are not limited home modifications for accessibility. Though modification solutions are common, usability solutions are broader and may include assistive technology (AT), personal assistance or simply a room reorganization.

Some examples of usability problems and potential solutions include:

  1. The consumer has difficulty getting around inside her home
    • Solution—During a home visit, the facilitator and consumer might identify that much of the problem has to do with furniture placement and clutter around the home. The consumer gets friends and family to help re-organize her space as a first step to improving mobility within the home.
  2. The consumer has difficulty entering and exiting his bathtub for showering.
    • SolutionA certified specialist helps the consumer evaluate his bathing and dressing needs for adaptive equipment.  He decides to try a bath bench that extends beyond the tub, so he can sit down and slide himself into the shower.
  3. The consumer is not physically able to open the drapes.
    • Solution—Consumer, facilitator and contractor meet with several vendors known by the contractor, and find an electronic, remote-controlled drape opener that is donated and installed.
  4. The consumer has difficulty entering her home.
    • Solution 1— The consumer and CIL specialist may determine that installing a ramp is the best solution. The consumer, facilitator and carpenter meet to decide the best plan for the ramp, get landlord’s permission, obtain building permits and complete the job.
    • Solution 2—the consumer’s front door is too narrow for her to enter/exit comfortably in her chair (she must squeeze through scraping her elbows). After a discussion with a contractor, they determine it is cost prohibitive to widen the door. However, they install offset hinges to increase the usable door width by two inches.