In Creating The New Generation Of Smart Homes, Designers Must Consider Accessibility
According to CDC statistics, up to 8 million Americans live with some form of mobility-related disability. To this day, they face considerable barriers to accessibility in everyday life. The Center for American Progress found that Americans living with disability face significant challenges in access to public services and properly equipped housing, despite the ADA has been in place for 31 years. Opportunity is present, however, in the latest generation of smart homes, which promise to provide automation to the everyday lives of their occupants this is why designs and designers must consider accessibility.
1. Understanding disability
Architects and designers need to work with accessibility at the forefront of their minds to be genuinely disability-inclusive. Consider, for instance, the requirements of a home for someone diagnosed with cerebral palsy. As CPFN highlights, supporting someone with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy requires a range of mobility aids in addition to tools to help with fine motor skills. The intelligent home provides this through digital control of its devices but must be built around them rather than as a feature.
2. Inherent design
According to CNN, there is a crucial opportunity to be met. They highlight the development of the M -Pwr door, which brings together remote accessibility, security, and function, all within a smart device. It requires, however, full cooperation from the rest of the home and its instruments; a gateway alone is insufficient to provide true accessibility. The rest of the home design needs to support its use. That includes adaptive devices, such as cookers, that can help provide the bridge where fine motor skills are absent through lowered surfaces that can enable wheelchair users to enjoy their home to the fullest extent.
3. A holistic approach
This leads to a conclusion that dovetails nicely with the priorities of intelligent housing and sustainable housing to boot. For people without accessibility needs, the modern home has a range of features to promote easy living and health, whether that be the interaction of digital assistants with core home functions, such as heating, or through the monitoring of indoor air quality and ambient temperatures.
However, when it comes to people with accessibility requirements, these techniques and tools will lead to more outstanding health outcomes, greater independence, and fewer demands on the systems that help support people living with a disability. Giving people with accessibility complete control over their lives despite their disability is a principle that will affect real change.
The smart home cannot be designed without considering accessibility. The features that help people living with disability obtain independence are also features that contribute to a positive quality of life across the board. Modern designs require modern, accessibility-first thinking to be effective.
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