How our Henshaws homes are different

At Henshaws, our housing is specially adapted for people with a range of disabilities including sight loss; from the outside space, to the moment you step in. We are currently in the process of re-developing a house for two new residents to move into next year in Yorkshire, which is being specially designed so that it's person-centred and accessible for all the residents. 

There are lots of things to consider when making a home accessible. We cover some of the ways that homes can be adapted so they’re tailored for everyone to live life the want they want to, and why it makes such a difference to have a person-centred home.

(1) In the kitchengrj_0794

With a few extra tweaks, there’s no excuse to not be cooking! For residents with low vision, bright and contrasting kitchen features and tools such as chopping boards or bowls can make it much easier to prepare and cook food. You can add rubber bump dots or braille stickers onto the microwave, oven dials, etc. so that residents with little or no vision can feel the settings for themselves.

Our house next year is specially designed with key features that are ideal for wheelchair users; with a rise and fall sink, side opening oven, and low-level food drawers, so that everyone can access their food when they want it.

(2) In the bathroom

Making sure the flooring is suitable for wheelchair users even when wet is really important. The redeveloped house will have level access en-suite wet rooms, which will make a real difference for wheelchair users; giving more privacy and making getting between the rooms easier and safer.

rachels-new-room(3) In the bedroom

Everyone’s bedroom can be personalised with the things they love. Check out Rachel (pictured right)  in her room that’s full of her favourite things and has been recently painted to her favourite colour – pink!

The redeveloped house will be full of little features like having extra plug sockets for equipment, and mid-level light switches and plug sockets, which give that extra bit of person-centred design for wheelchair users.

(4) Around the house

Details, like choosing calming paint colours and avoiding fluorescent lighting, may seem small but can make a massive difference for residents with autism and sensory problems.

The newly renovated house next year will have wide hallways and doorways, and non-slip flooring specially chosen for wheelchair traction across the house. This means that everyone can travel freely and easily around the house – giving as much independence as possible.


(5) Outside

Level-access to a back garden is necessary – even one step would make it inaccessible for a resident in a wheelchair! The renovated house next year will have level-access to the back garden from inside the house, so residents won’t have to go out the front of the house just to get into their garden.

We’d also love to be able to fund a carport in the house that is being re-developed, so residents in wheelchairs coming in and out of the car can have privacy and shelter, especially for when it’s pouring with rain!

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Giving the gift of an independent home this Christmas

Only 16% of houses in the UK are wheelchair accessible, which is why homes like the one we’re renovating for next year are so special.

This Christmas, your donation to our Christmas house appeal can help us make sure the new house is as person-centred and accessible as possible for the two new residents.

Please visit and support our Christmas house appeal page, so that other young people with disabilities get the opportunity to live life the way they want to.

Three young men sitting on a sofa, reading and chatting.

We can't do it without you

Henshaws rely on voluntary donations; our work just wouldn’t be possible without people like you. Your support empowers local people living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities to increase their independence, achieve their dreams, and go beyond expectations.

Donate now

Sarah is the Marketing Manager with responsibility for Community Services across Greater Manchester, and the Knowledge Village.
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