The introduction of the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy programme in 2013 resulted the development of Ability House. Over summer in 2014, the University of Worcester invested in extensive renovations to residential property within the campus ground to provide this teaching facility. Generous donations from local manufacturers and community organisations has enabled us to equip the house with a range of design features and assistive technologies to address the issues that people with disabilities and their carers experience in community living. Occupational Therapy students across all years of the course are taught practical skills at Ability House with access to a range of specialised equipment. This state-of-the-art facility provides a perfect venue for health professional education and training in the assessment and provision of equipment for people with a range of disabilities who want to remain in their own homes. The house is also available to other Health and Society professional students for teaching practical skills, including physiotherapy, nursing, midwifery, paramedics, nutrition therapists and social worker.
Ability House demonstrates what can be achieved in an ordinary semi-detached house through innovative and intelligent design. The concept of environmental design ranges from simple removal of steps and the use of durable floor covering to allow manoeuvrability for wheelchairs and people using wheeled walking frames, to the installation of ceiling track hoist systems to allow for safe transfers from bed to bath or shower and chairs. While each individual and home require different design solutions, Ability House illustrates both simple and more sophisticated design features. Ability House also has a dementia friendly living space with a range of assistive and internet based technology equipment to maintain people with dementia at home with support for as long as possible.
In addition Ability House can be used by occupational therapists and other health professionals for individual assessment and clinics and will be accessible to the public on open days and by appointment to find out more about the design and equipment available to support living in the community.
Please contact Dr Yvonne Thomas, Course Leader Occupational Therapy, for further information about Ability House.
Tel: 01905 542610