Our client is a young adult who was involved in a road traffic accident in 2005 and was living at Birmingham Children’s hospital from 2005 until 2010. More recently the family have been living in a small cramped adapted rental property and our client required two full time carers twenty four hours a day to maintain visual contact at all times. Our client is tetraplegic and has no sensation below the neck and is on a permanent ventilator.
Designing houses and accommodation for people with this level of disability requires specialist accessible design knowledge and experience which is why we were asked to take over this project.
Houses for very disabled people are, by nature very large. There needs to be lots of circulation space for large powered wheelchairs as well as storage of lots of specialist equipment. There needs to be a dedicated room for ongoing physiotherapy that just isn’t a store room or the dining room for instance and the bedrooms and bathrooms have to be large as well. Utility rooms need to be large as the amount of washing and changing of clothes and bed linen is far more than for an average family. Whilst there is no overnight sleeping care required we need to provide some space for support workers to monitor our client but not necessarily need to be in her space all the time. On top of this we need to provide enough bedrooms for her parents and brother and visiting family who also provide lots of ongoing care and support.