Home modification is a hot topic, with do-it-yourself TV shows and super-sized hardware stores seeking the attention and dollars of improvement-minded homeowners. Add architects, contractors and interior designers to the mix, and you have an industry worth billions. Despite the national slowdown in consumer purchasing of new and existing homes, the not-for-profit Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) says the residential repair and remodeling market will still be worth $308.9 billion in 2007.
But while a Saturday afternoon DIY program and a trip to Home Depot may work fine for someone seeking to replace a faucet, the stakes are higher and the landscape more complex for the homes of people with mobility disabilities. Hardware store clerks and neighborhood contractors probably don’t know much about the turning radius of scooters or the length of a power chair with a ventilator. They likely know even less about the progression of multiple sclerosis or ALS, or how spasticity can complicate bathroom transfers.
On the other hand, rehab technology suppliers assessing clients for manual or power mobility equipment know all about those clinical conditions. They also know the equipment — different brands and models, functionalities and options. And they’re already in the home, to measure doorways, examine the maneuvering space in a bathroom and teach clients how to use the equipment.
Therefore, adding home and environmental accessibility expertise to their résumés makes a lot of sense for RTS’s. And U.S. Rehab wants to help RTS’s accomplish just that.
U.S. Rehab describes its new Certified Environmental Access Consultant (CEAC) credential as ”a recognized certification for professionals engaged in environmental access, including but not limited to independent living specialists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, remodeling contractors and builders, interior designers, engineers, rehabilitation specialists, case managers, public health nurses, assistive technology specialists, life care planners and other professionals creating accessibility or working in the environmental access field.”
The credential’s benefits: It’s recognized by payor and funding sources such as case managers, health-care professionals, federal and state social services directors, claims adjusters and consumers seeking to work with environmental access professionals. U.S. Rehab says the CEAC credential can open up a range of opportunities in the areas of ADL assessments, code compliance consulting, building, remodeling, code-compliance consulting and aging-in-place needs.
For more information on the certification process, call (800) 987-7342, or visit U.S. Rehab at www.usrehab.com.