A bedroom is the most personal room in any home. It should be a space where a person can relax and be safe. For truly equal access, every part of a bedroom should be designed thoughtfully, from the furniture to the lighting to the room’s accessories.
Bedroom Layouts for Universal Access
It’s critical to provide as much room as possible in the bedroom so that someone in a wheelchair can manoeuvre around and easily transfer to and from the bed. As a general rule, it’s suggested that bedrooms have at least 14 square meters for someone with a wheelchair.
A bedroom with universal design should also have easy accessibility to a bathroom, preferably en suite. There may or may not need to be a door between the bathroom and bedroom, depending on personal preference. Storage considerations are also important: it’s wise to use dressers for clothing storage that can double as a work surface, as long as they are at the right height.
Lighting, Windows and Accessories
Many people with a disability spend an extended amount of time in their bedrooms, and ideally they should have a good view to look out upon from their windows. Lighting is important as well: natural lighting is best when possible, but can be supplemented with artificial lighting when necessary. Lighting should be placed strategically to make it easy to do things like read, work at a desk, or find clothes in a wardrobe.
Be sure that all radios, televisions, and telephones placed in a bedroom are easily accessible for someone with disabilities. Power outlets and switches must also be placed thoughtfully in a bedroom. For safety, a bedroom for someone with a disability should have some type of communication that is accessible from the bed, whether it is an emergency intercom or a normal telephone. Floor covering should be firm enough so that it is easy to move across: short pile carpet is a good example.
A fully accessible bedroom is a place that will be comfortable, relaxing, and enjoyable for someone no matter what level of physical ability they have.