Home’s Universal Designs

Imagine building a house when you’re young that you can live in as you age: wide doorways can accommodate both a stroller and a wheelchair; towel racks in the kitchen double as grab bars as balance grows unsteady; and entryways are smooth to prevent tripping. Builders incorporate these concepts of universal design to create homes that are barrier-free without looking purposely modified.universal kitchen designsign of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.

Universal design is related to aging-in-place remodeling and a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) can help you remodel your home using universal design concepts. The NAHB Remodelers in collaboration with Home Innovation Research Labs, NAHB 50+ Housing Council and AARP developed the CAPS program to address the growing number of consumers that will soon require these modifications. While most CAPS professionals are remodelers, an increasing number are general contractors, designers, architects, and health care consultants.

To find a CAPS remodeler in your area visit nahb.org/capsdirectory.

Everyone can use universal design! It doesn’t matter if you are young or old. You could be short or tall, healthy or ill. You might have a disability. Or you may be a prize-winning athlete. Because of universal design, people who are very different can all enjoy the same home. And that home will be there for all its inhabitants even when their needs change.

Here are some of the more common universal design features that are also incorporated into aging-in-place remodels:

  • No-step entry. No one needs to use stairs to get into a universal home or into the home’s main rooms.
  • One-story living. Places to eat, use the bathroom and sleep are all located on one level, which is barrier-free.
  • Wide doorways. Doorways that are 32-36 inches wide let wheelchairs pass through. They also make it easy to move big things in and out of the house.
  • Wide hallways. Hallways should be 36-42 inches wide. That way, everyone and everything moves more easily from room to room.
  • Extra floor space. Everyone feel less cramped. And people in wheelchairs have more space to turn.

Some universal design features just make good sense. Once you bring them into your home, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. For example:

  • Floors and bathtubs with non-slip surfaces help everyone stay on their feet. They’re not just for people who are frail. The same goes for handrails on steps and grab bars in bathrooms.
  • Thresholds that are flush with the floor make it easy for a wheelchair to get through a doorway. They also keep others from tripping.
  • Good lighting helps people with poor vision. And it helps everyone else see better, too.
  • Lever door handles and rocker light switches are great for people with poor hand strength. But others like them too. Try using these devices when your arms are full of packages. You’ll never go back to knobs or standard switches.
  • Cleaning and maintenanceit makes sense to create this type of building construction also, it makes the cleaning easier

Divorce? Why

The legal dissolution of marriage is something that has existed all over the world and for many years, although in recent years, divorce has become a much more common phenomenon that it used to be. The causes and consequences of this, and divorce in general, are numerous and varied, usually according to factors like region and demography, among many others. Accordingly, there exist a myriad of topics for you to explore when you are deciding your on divorce. Keep reading for ideas on how to approach your statement.

Divorce?

If you are writing a paper on divorce, you probably already know this, but let’s review the facts. A divorce is defined as the legal separation of a married couple. Typically, the couple agrees about getting a divorce, but in reality, most of the time this is unlikely to be the case. The possible reasons for a person wanting to divorce their spouse are, in a sense, endless. The dynamics of every relationship are unique, but of course, similarities exist everywhere. So which reasons for divorce can you look to in formulating your thesis statement on divorce? Let’s have a look at some of the most common causes of divorce.

What Causes of Divorce

Contrary to popular belief, infidelity (romantic or sexual) ranks relatively low in the reasons for couples getting divorced. You are free to choose this topic, of course, but take a moment to consider the other causes which rank much higher and can make for a more accessible thesis statement. Some of these are lack of communication, lack of personal space, differing goals, lack of intimacy, an inability to adequately address problems, and finally, a common top culprit, financial issues. We will have a brief look at each of these in turn.

Beginning the Academic Essay

Beginning the Academic Essay – Explantion

The writer of the academic essay aims to persuade readers of an idea based on evidence. The beginning of the essay is a crucial first step in this process. To engage readers and establish your authority, the beginning of your essay must accomplish certain business. Your beginning should introduce the essay, focus it, and orient readers.

Essay – The beginning lets your readers know what the essay is about, the topic. The essay’s topic does not exist in a vacuum, however; part of letting readers know what your essay is about means establishing the essay’s context, the frame within which you will approach your topic. For instance, in an essay about the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech, the context may be a particular legal theory about the speech right; it may be historical information concerning the writing of the amendment; it may be a contemporary dispute over flag burning; or it may be a question raised by the text itself. The point here is that, in establishing the essay’s context, you are also limiting your topic. That is, you are framing an approach to your topic that necessarily eliminates other approaches. Thus, when you determine your context, you simultaneously narrow your topic and take a big step toward focusing your essay. Here’s an example.

When Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening was published in 1899, critics condemned the book as immoral. One typical critic, writing in the Providence Journal, feared that the novel might “fall into the hands of youth, leading them to dwell on things that only matured persons can understand, and promoting unholy imaginations and unclean desires” (150). A reviewer in the St. Louis Post- Dispatch wrote that “there is much that is very improper in it, not to say positively unseemly.”

The paragraph goes on. But as you can see, Chopin’s novel (the topic) is introduced in the context of the critical and moral controversy its publication engendered.

Focus – Beyond introducing your topic, your beginning must also let readers know what the central issue is. What question or problem will you be thinking about? You can pose a question that will lead to your idea (in which case, your idea will be the answer to your question), or you can make a thesis statement. Or you can do both: you can ask a question and immediately suggest the answer that your essay will argue. Here’s an example from an essay about Memorial Hall.

Further analysis of Memorial Hall, and of the archival sources that describe the process of building it, suggests that the past may not be the central subject of the hall but only a medium. What message, then, does the building convey, and why are the fallen soldiers of such importance to the alumni who built it? Part of the answer, it seems, is that Memorial Hall is an educational tool, an attempt by the Harvard community of the 1870s to influence the future by shaping our memory of their times. The commemoration of those students and graduates who died for the Union during the Civil War is one aspect of this alumni message to the future, but it may not be the central idea.

The fullness of your idea will not emerge until your conclusion, but your beginning must clearly indicate the direction your idea will take, must set your essay on that road. And whether you focus your essay by posing a question, stating a thesis, or combining these approaches, by the end of your beginning, readers should know what you’re writing about, and why—and why they might want to read on.

Readers– Orienting readers, locating them in your discussion, means providing information and explanations wherever necessary for your readers’ understanding. Orienting is important throughout your essay, but it is crucial in the beginning. Readers who don’t have the information they need to follow your discussion will get lost and quit reading. (Your teachers, of course, will trudge on.) Supplying the necessary information to orient your readers may be as simple as answering the journalist’s questions of who, what, where, when, how, and why. It may mean providing a brief overview of events or a summary of the text you’ll be analyzing. If the source text is brief, such as the First Amendment, you might just quote it. If the text is well known, your summary, for most audiences, won’t need to be more than an identifying phrase or two:

In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s tragedy of `star-crossed lovers destroyed by the blood feud between their two families, the minor characters . . .

Often, however, you will want to summarize your source more fully so that readers can follow your analysis of it.

Questions of Length and Order. How long should the beginning be? The length should be proportionate to the length and complexity of the whole essay. For instance, if you’re writing a five-page essay analyzing a single text, your beginning should be brief, no more than one or two paragraphs. On the other hand, it may take a couple of pages to set up a ten-page essay.

Does the business of the beginning have to be addressed in a order? No, but the order should be logical. Usually, for instance, the question or statement that focuses the essay comes at the end of the beginning, where it serves as the jumping-off point for the middle, or main body, of the essay. Topic and context are often intertwined, but the context may be established before the topic is introduced. In other words, the order in which you accomplish the business of the beginning is flexible and should be determined by your purpose.