New app to help people with disabilities choose home modifications

New app to help people with disabilities choose home modifications
New app to help people with disabilities choose home modifications

UNSW researchers have released a free app designed to give people with disabilities and older Australians the product information they need to modify their homes and stay in them for longer.

Known as DIYmodify, it will help consumers make decisions around purchasing five common home modifications including grab rails and handheld showers.

“Overwhelmingly, people want to stay in their own homes rather than go into care,” remarked UNSW associate professor Catherine Bridge, director of the HMinfo Clearinghouse.

“Our aim is to keep people better informed, safer and able to stay in their homes for longer,” she said.

UNSW research shows more than 15,000 DIY home modifications are undertaken by people with disability and older Australians each year in NSW alone.

The HMinfo Clearinghouse analysed consumer sales data from the largest national hardware chain by monitoring the sale of five products: grab rails; handrails, hand-held showers, shower infills and small ramps.

“When people complete their own home modifications, they can choose the products they want and have control over the process – the DIYmodify app is designed to assist them with this and shows that grab rails and ramps can be installed in a way that won’t make their home look like a hospital.”

The app was co-designed with input from people with disability and seniors to ensure the highest level of accessibility for people with cognitive, vision and physical impairment, as well as non-English speakers.

“We’re giving people information at the time they need it, presented in a way that is understandable to them. For example, many people don’t know that they can add a ramp to their shower, to raise its level and it will only cost them $100 rather than $2000,” Bridge said.

DIYmodify will be launched on 19 May by the NSW Minister for Disability Services, Ray Williams. It is available for both iPhone/iPad and Android devices. 

Tags: 
App Disability

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