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Reference Material

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Resource Handbook for Barrier Free Environments
A New Zealand publication that includes brief descriptions of Access Legislation, Building Consents etc, which although related to public facilities is interesting and informative.

It also includes lists of “Basic Requirements” relating to every type of access - including parking, ramps, door handles, rails, toilets, bathrooms, kitchens etc.

Available from Barrier Free New Zealand

Barrier Free Trust – Seminars
Barrier Free Trust offers a range of nationwide seminars aimed at a wide range of professionals.  Modules include ‘experiencing the accessible journey’, ‘the law, access and the accessible journey’, ‘designing the accessible journey’, ‘assessing the accessible journey’ and ‘becoming a  barrier free advisor’

The ASSIST Guidebook to the Accessible Home
This publication provides architectural design, community planning and development assistance on housing and accessibility design.

Some useful information about a range of ‘typical’ modifications for interest, noting that all the measurements are in inches and based on American standards.

Design guide for wheelchair accessible housing
Although designed for UK use, this resource includes clear information (e.g. turning circles) with excellent diagrams.

Note that the NZ Building Code and regulations should be used for NZ requirements.

iDAPT Planning
Idapt is a web-based drawing programme specifically designed for Occupational Therapists as a means of looking at design/feasibility options for individuals requiring housing modifications. The drawing programme is based on a “drag and drop” principle and is therefore easy to use. Plans are to scale and the programme comes complete with a library of scaled icons which represent all standard structural/household items as well as most specialist equipment. The drawings produced allows Occupational Therapists \ to better communicate proposed solutions to clients as well as provides improved accuracy of solutions. No software is required, although there is an annual license fee required.

Smart Draw
An easy to use sketch programme using drag and drop to create your sketch.  A free trial is available from the website and a full licensed version is inexpensive.

    Annotated Bibliography on Universal Design
    Comprehensive resource that has useful links to specific modification areas, e.g. kitchen and bathrooms.  Not so appropriate to New Zealand but has some useful reminders about designs e.g. door handles, light switches.

    Falls Prevention
    Information for health professionals on falls prevention including  link to home safety.  The “At Home” section is most useful and provides a good checklist.  The “Health Professionals” section does not include information about environmental issues.

    Communication with Older People in the Design of Major Housing Adaptations
    This is a UK study that looks at how Occupational Therapists (and others involved) communicate during the housing adaptation process and the effects this has on clients. It looks at the need to develop a trusting relationship with the individual requiring modifications and how to best communicate the proposed plan, including the use of computer assisted photos etc can assist clients to 'visualise' the end result of home modifications.

     It is well worth reading as will enable Occupational Therapists to reflect on their current practice in this area and how the communication process can be enhanced.

    Construction of a Wet Area Shower, Published by Graham Booth Completely Revised Edition 1996 – Booklet
    A useful guide on how to construct a Wet Area Shower for List Contractors and people who wanting to use their own Builders.

    Available from: Graham Booth, PO Box 15014, Otaki Railway, Otaki 5543.  Ph  06 364 5584

    Children and Young People with Challenging Behaviours - May 2010
    The Needs Assessment and Coordination Services (NASC) process for the consideration of high cost or complex housing modifications and equipment for children and young people who have challenging behaviours.  Attached is a fact sheet and ineter-agency approach flowchart:

    An Occupational Therapists Guide to Housing Modification Practice
    This book has been recommended by a number of Occupational Therapists as a useful resource - "It would be a good text book for people to read going into practice of housing assessment and modifications".  It is available at a cost of Aus$85.09 from

    Department of Building and Housing - Building A-Z
    New Zealand compliance documents by Building Code clause.  Of particular interest are:

    • D1/AS1 – Access Routes
    • F4/VM1 & AS1 – Safety from Falling

    Homes without barriers - A guide to accessible houses
    A New Zealand publication that is current and provides excellent illustrations. Available from BRANZ

    idapt demo now available

    See the following website for a demonstration of idapt.

    NZ Building Law & Compliance
    Reference to NZ4121 Building Standards and provides a good overview of the Building Code and relevance to building modifications

    Work and Income
    Income and asset testing information.


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