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Creating Spaces that Work

Architects, contractors, builders, and designers all work on behalf of their clients to create spaces – hopefully places in which meaningful activities of daily living occur. Traditionally, these are the professionals who design and execute the plans for renovation or new construction. Each has a role to fill and the completed project reflects their individual efforts. However, if the client is someone who chooses to age-in-place or has a disability, it is important that the building professionals’ team expand to include an occupational therapist or someone with comparable skills and experience.

Working Together
Susan finds that a team approach or partnership between an occupational therapist and building professional is essential in order to achieve a good functional fit between the person and the environment. In the absence of that professional partnership, the home modification project for a person with a medically-based need is too frequently looked at from the viewpoint of the Americans with Disability Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) rather than from a focus on the individual’s particular needs and wants. It is important for all to keep in mind that the ADA essentially applies to public spaces and, further, is based on studied averages. Therefore, when working to achieve a practical, customized, accessible, safe and comfortable home environment, the measurements and products should not be based on averages of the general public but rather on the specific functional, medical and cultural needs and wants of the client and caregiver.

If the client has a need for special equipment, Susan’s knowledge of durable medical equipment and, in turn, the related structural needs and spaces associated with its use, becomes important information for all team members.

The Medical, Building, and Business Communities Recognize Susan
Susan is able to bridge the medical community with the building community because of her knowledge and experience in both areas.

On the therapy side, in 1987, Susan received the coveted honor of “Fellow” from the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in recognition of her “clinical excellence.” Her colleagues in the Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association honored her with the title of "Outstanding Occupational Therapist of the Year (2002 - 2003). On October 20th, 2011, Susan received the prestigious national Dorland Health People Award 2011 in Occupational Therapy at their meetings in Washington, DC.

From the business community, Susan received the Small Business Administration’s Award -- “Small Business Advocate of the Year: Home-Based Business 2004” – in recognition of her noteworthy efforts as a small-business CEO and owner.

On the construction side, Susan is a member of the National Association of Home Builders and its affiliate Home Builders Association of Lexington KY (Remodeler’s Council). She holds the qualification of Certified Environmental Access Consultant (CEAC) and in 2004, received the National Association of Home Builder’s designation, Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS).

In the field, Susan is a regular partner of building professionals – she consults and recommends specific medically-driven modifications and products that enable individuals to enjoy accessibility, comfort, ease and safety while living in the home.

Here is what people say about working with Susan:

“Susan Bachner is everything you need in an Environmental Access Consultant. Her broad understanding and education qualifies Susan for the task of providing creative solutions to difficult problems. Her enthusiasm for problem solving and education are refreshing and hopeful. Susan provides a meaningful and necessary service in a very competent and professional manner.” - John M. Considine, General Contracting

“As a full service remodeling contractor completing many different types of projects, we realize just how crucial it is to assemble the right team for any given project. Whenever we at BACK have the need for Universal Design or Aging in Place Services we call upon Susan Bachner for her expertise and guidance. Not only is Susan a true professional in her field but she also happens to be one of the most kind hearted and caring individuals I have had the pleasure to work with. ” - Rob Hundley, Executive Vice President BACK Construction, Inc.