Building Modifications

Own Home – Your O/T will arrange an assessment of your home and recommend modifications to enable you to gain access. A small hospital grant is available to assist with any modifications necessary however these modifications are usually only completed after discharge so a temporary set up may be necessary to enable you to go home.

Department of Housing (Homeswest) – You may be in a position where you need to consider an application to the Department of Housing for wheelchair accessible accommodation. Your social worker will be able to advise you of the process and will assist with your application. Even if applying for priority housing it can take more than a year for suitable accommodation to become available so you must endeavour to arrange alternative short term/temporary accommodation before your discharge.

Private Rental / Buying a new home – Before contacting real estate agents you may wish to discuss with your O/T your basic requirements for wheelchair accessible housing. To help your real estate agent find a suitable property for you give them written information about what you require eg level block, no internal steps etc.

Design Guidelines for Building/Modifying

If you are building your own home or modifying an existing home it is advisable to employ an architect or building company that has previous experience in universal access design principles.

For some ideas about home modifications the following link has some useful suggestions and diagrams for altering or designing bathrooms, kitchens and bedrooms for use by people with all levels of disability:
If you are planning to build a new home the Liveable Homes Guide ( has technical fact sheets for designing a home to allow access for wheelchair users. The information for the layout of toilets and showers does not, however, allow access for large wheelchairs, hoists or carers and you should discuss your individual requirements with your architect.