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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

#8 of the Beloit College’s list of the mindset of incoming college class of 2014, is:

With increasing numbers of ramps, Braille signs, and handicapped parking spaces, the world has always been trying harder to accommodate people with disabilities.

Which makes me think of how much progress we have made with the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 20 years ago. I can’t help but to think of the mindset of students for the class of 2034.  

  • They will likely know homes that are universally designed. 
  • Multi-generational housing will be the norm. 
  • Grab bars are likely a common item in all bathrooms.

What do you hope for the mindset of the class of 2034?

Monday, August 9, 2010

5 Ways to Make Your Bathroom Accessible for Under $40

Here are 5 easy changes that you can do to make your bathroom more accessible - all under $40!

1. Add no slip bath mats - No slip bath mats help prevent falls both in and out of the shower. Falls can be lead to serious injury sometimes even resulting in death. Did you know... more than 10,000 people over the age of 65 die from fall related injuries annually?

2. Change existing door knobs into lever door handles. Round door knobs require finger strength and rotational dexterity to operate. Lever door handles can be opened with the arm or hand with less effort.

Watch this video for step-by-step instructions on how to install a lever door handle:

How to Remove & Replace/Install a Door Lever -- powered by

3. Install Rocker Light Switch- Unlike toggle light switches, rocker switches are easier to operate and can be turned on or off with the arm or elbow.

4. Remove Clutter- Using shower caddies, above the toilet shelving, drawer dividers, robe and towel hooks and behind the door hangers are great for keeping items off of the floor in and out of the shower. Keeping a hamper in the bathroom also helps keep laundry from piling up on the floor.

5. Install a handheld shower head- Handheld shower heads are great for bathing whether you are in a seated or standing position. They are also great for bathing children or pets, to help minimize stress on the back.

Here is a video on how to install a handheld shower head:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Accessible Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

Accessible Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 3/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup  whole wheat flour
2/3 cup wheat bran (or germ)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup natural cane sugar or light brown sugar
1 cup firmly packed Muscovado or dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 oz semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped and shaved into chunks and splinters

  • Preheat the built in oven placed 30" from the floor to 350 degrees F with racks placed in the middle. 
  • Line two baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set aside.
  • On a pull-out mid level work table and combine the oats, flour, wheat bran, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl found in the kitchen pull down shelves. Set aside.

  • Using pop up mixer shelf cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in sugar,found in the Super Susan cabinet, for 3+ minutes, scraping down sides a few times along the way.

  • Add the dry mixture, and stir until everything barely comes together. Then stir in the chocolate, from the pull out pantry, until it is evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  • With a soft grip ice cream scoop, make uniform dough balls and arrange each cookie at least 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. 
  • For extra crisp cookies, bake until deeply golden brown on the bottom for 15 minutes. Using a durable oven mitt, like OXO grey silicone oven mitt, to turn the pan once 2/3 of the way through baking.

  • For chewier cookies bake for less time. Cool on rack.
  • Makes about 2 dozen large cookies.
  • After baking sheet has cooled, place all dirty dishes into a raised dishwasher for cleaning.