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.
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
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
If the client has a need for special equipment,
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
is able to bridge the medical community with the building community because
of her knowledge and experience in both
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:
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.”
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.