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Kate On Moving Into Her Own Home


At the age of 28, Kate moved out of her parent's house. Her friends and family had encouraged her, but Kate wasn't confident that it was the right choice for her. She worried she would be lonely. But after only a few weeks in her new home, Kate realised she loved living on her own. Tailored custom accessible design and a great location make Kate's charming single story town house a winner.

Key Features:

2 bedrooms
Interior courtyard
Close to shops, restaurants and entertainment

Accessibility and Inclusion Features:

Accessible bathroom
Accessible kitchen
Ceiling hoist
Video Monitor
Remote controlled curtain
Remote controlled light
Custom accessible design


A Great Location Gives Freedom

Kate says the most important thing about her home is the location. She lives near shops, cafes and entertainment. This gives her freedom. If she wants to go out, she simply heads out the door in her electric wheelchair. She does not have to wait around for access cabs every time she wants to leave the house. Nor does she have to stay home when she runs out of taxi vouchers. Kate's greatest fear of living on her own was that she would be lonely. But because of the great community she lives in, Kate has found she has an active and full social life.

Creative Accessible Design

Kate's mother played a key part in giving Kate's new home an accessibility makeover. Because she knows her daughter and the nature of her disability intimately, she says she could imagine a lot of design features that would enhance Kate's lifestyle. But she found it incredibly hard to find these things in the market. So in the end, she designed a lot of the great accessibility features of Kate's home herself.

In Kate's kitchen there are pull out drawers so Kate doesn't have to reach far when transferring hot items from the stove. There is another drawer with a hole cut in it to hold bowls in place. The kitchen island has a section for someone standing and a section for someone sitting. Particularly useful is the corner rotating shelf where Kate stores her non-refrigerated food items. Because it rotates, it means that everything is within easy grasp.

The photos on this page are interactive. When you hover your mouse, or finger if using a touch screen, over the photos, points of interest will appear. Click on these points to learn more about the specific accessibility features that help make this house great.

Kate's bedroom is also full of great design features that enhance her lifestyle. Perhaps most important is the ceiling lifter, which allows her to transfer independently from her bed to her shower chair and electric wheelchair. She uses remote controls for the light, curtain, fan and air-conditioning, as well as for her television and DVD player. There is a video monitor which allows her to see who is at her front door, speak to them and even let them in from her bed. The bedroom door has been elegantly widened to accommodate her wheelchair.

Simple Design Additions Can Have Huge Impacts

One of the most important features of Kate's bedroom is the bed itself. She spends a lot of time in bed, where she likes to draw, make jewellery, listen to music, play on her ipad or watch TV. Kate has to use a hospital style bed, which is too narrow to keep all her belongings in bed with her. This had a huge impact on her sense of well-being until her mother came up with the clever idea of creating a miniature bed to sit along side her hospital-style bed, transforming it into an elegant king size bed. It is a simple design addition that has immeasurable positive impact on Kate's life.