Universal Home Design Tips for All Ages and Abilities

Building a home that is easily navigated by a person in a wheelchair to most comes from a basic design of accessibility. There are many things that can make a home accessible. These are just a few of the most basic design elements that should be considered. 


  • 36" is minimum width that external doorways should be to accommodate wheelchairs
  • 60"x60" is the ideal turnaround space for wheelchairs. Allow this much room around tables and furniture. 
  • 32" is the ideal counter top height for those in chairs and of short stature
  • 15" is the lowest that plugs and controls should be installed on the walls
  • 48" is the highest that plugs and controls should be installed on the wall. 

Please use these guidelines and more when planning your home. Be welcoming to all guests with all abilities!

Tips for Buying Toys

Toy Buying Tips for Parents and Caregivers of Children with Special Needs

Prepared by the National Lekotek Center

Selecting a toy for a child with special needs can be overwhelming. That is why Toys“R”Us has worked for more than two decades with the National Lekotek Center to develop the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, an inclusive resource for families with children of all abilities.

To help parents and caregivers through their toy purchasing journey, inclusive play experts at the National Lekotek Center compiled the following questions to ask yourself when choosing developmentally appropriate toys for kids with special needs.

Multi-Sensory Appeal
Does the toy respond with lights, sounds or movement to engage the child? Are there contrasting colors? Does it have a scent? Is there texture?
Method of Activation
Will the toy provide a challenge without frustration? What is the force required to activate? What are the number and complexity of steps required to activate?
Places the Toy Will Be Used
Will the toy be easy to store? Is there space in the home? Can the toy be used in a...

Assistive Technology for Autism

What is AT? 

According to the United States Assistive Technology Act of 1998, assistive technology (AT) refers to any "product, device, or equipment, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that is used to maintain, increase, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities."

Common AT includes screen magnifiers, large-key keyboards, alternative input devices such as touch screen displays, over-sized trackballs and joysticks, speech recognition programs, text readers, and so much more.

Assistive Technology is used by many people. Some need AT to help them get out of bed, while others use AT to help them eat. But for a person with Autism, AT can mean the difference between being able to communicate your thoughts and feelings or having them trapped inside your mind. There are many types of AT used by a person with autism. There is AT to help a person with reading and writing. AT can also help with communication, learning, and access to your world as well as behavior support and daily living activities.

                For those with fine motor dexterity trouble or those that have trouble writing neatly, pencil grips are a great way to assist with writing.  It...

7 Types of Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the function of individuals with disabilities.

Infographic listing 7 types of Assistive Technology. Text below.

  1. Access and Environmental - Devices that allow increased control of the environment. These are devices such as switches, ramps, remote controls, automatic door openers, and braille signs.

  2. Aids to Daily Living - Special tools that help with daily activities like brushing teeth, dressing, or eating. These tools include adapted utensils and dishes, non-skid surfaces, and specially designed equipment.

  3. Assistive Listening - Supports those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Includes hearing aids, amplifiers, captions, and TTY.

  4. Augmentative/ Alternative Communication - Allows those who cannot speak or whose speech isn't easily understood, to communicate. Includes Picture boards, voice output devices, computers and software...

10 Things that People Living with a Disability Want You to Know

There are many misconceptions about disabilities. Most of the time it is simply due to a lack of information. This can be because the voice of people living with a disability just isn't heard loudly or clearly enough. Also, those who don’t consider themselves as having a disability are so unaware of what it is like living with one. I have compiled this list of 10 Things that People Living with a Disability Want You to Know.


  1. Not all disabilities are obvious. We typically associate disability with a wheelchair, sight cane, or other obvious mobility device, but many disabilities are invisible to the public. It is estimated that around 10% of the people in the US have a condition that is considered an invisible disability. Invisible disabilities can include chronic illnesses such as Brain injuries, renal failure, and sleep disorders if those diseases significantly impair normal activities of daily living. These types of disabilities typically include conditions such as Chronic Pain, Fatigue, and Dizziness, as well as Mental Illness.
  2. It isn’t about being more or less able, it’s just different. Many people with a disability have various talents that others do not....