Alex French Associates
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Alex French Associates Services


At AFA we believe in providing a holistic approach to disabled adaptations. Rather than being viewed as just another construction project, the primary purpose of a disabled adaptation should be the rehabilitation and long-term needs of the client. By working more closely with Case Managers, using colour, light and gardening as therapy tools and combining this with green technology, it is possible to create a healthy, sustainable and cost effective environment.

AFA offers disabled clients:-

  • A detailed analysis of requirements.
  • A thorough and comprehensive search for suitable properties for adaptation or suitable land for new-build accommodation.
  • Accommodation Reports.
  • Production of design options.
  • Advice on and appointment of additional consultants.
  • Specifications and Schedules of Work.
  • Planning and Building Regulation approval.
  • Invitations to tender and production of relevant contract documentation
  • Periodic valuations and Project Co-ordination until final completion.

At AFA we understand how important your input is therefore we believe you should be fully involved at every step of the project, meaning all specific customer requirements can be met to their full extent. Our clients range from the severely disabled who need purpose-built accommodation to elderly people who simply need a few adaptations made to their home to make their day-to-day life easier.

An increasing number of older people and people with long-term disabilities would like, ideally, to stay in their own homes but, because of their age, frailty or disability, need help to enable them to live independently.

If you are physically disabled, and especially if you are a wheelchair user, you may need to get equipment and have permanent fixtures installed at home so that you can live there independently.

Examples of equipment and adaptations include:

  • Stair lifts
  • Ceiling hoists
  • Powered or manual height-adjustable beds
  • Powered leg-lifters for people who have difficulty lifting their legs into bed
  • You may also need to have adaptation work done in your home - for example, having doorways widened or a ramp installed.

A wide range of gadgets and devices are available that make everyday tasks easier for people with specific disabilities. Some examples are: • Clamps and holders to keep jars stable so they can be opened with one hand. • Talking kitchen scales for people who are blind or visually impaired. • Alarm clocks that vibrate under the pillow for deaf and hearing impaired people. • Kettle tippers for people who have limited arm strength or restricted movement. • Devices that remind people with memory loss or learning disabilities to do a daily task, for example taking a pill.

There is no doubt that your home life and quality of living can be improved with the right disabled adaptions and AFA is able to provide for all of your needs both externally and internally.

Everyone has the right to ask social services for a community care assessment and will qualify for help if they meet local eligibility criteria. The council assessor will consider personal needs – whether they are simple or complex; whether they are many or few; and whether they are essential to independence and quality of life. Help may be provided by way of a service, e.g. home help, or equipment that will make managing tasks at home easier.

You do not have to accept the service or equipment offered by social services. Instead, you are entitled to ask for a direct payment, i.e. a cash alternative, equivalent in value to the service/equipment you would have received. This money must then be used to organise relevant services or to buy appropriate equipment independently. Social services, using government guidelines, make a decision on an individual’s capabilities to organise his or her own services when deciding on whether a direct payment is appropriate.

Usually, an occupational therapist will assess what adaptations would best meet your needs. If they agree that you need adaptations to your home, then you may be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant to help towards the cost of adapting your home to enable you to continue to live there. Local councils have to give Disabled Facilities Grants to eligible applicants to make houses suitable for disabled people. Depending on your financial circumstances, you may be expected to pay some of the costs. Disabled Facilities Grants are available to owners and tenants in both private and social housing up to approximately £30,000.

To apply for a grant you need to contact the housing or environmental health department of your local council and ask them to send you an application form. You must apply for the grant before you start any work as you won't normally get any grant if you start work before the council approves the application. The local council must notify you of the result of your application, in writing, within six months of the date of application.

As with any building works, you will need to apply separately for any required planning permission or building regulations approval. It is important to ensure that the work gets done properly. For major work, the council may ask you to employ a qualified architect or surveyor to plan and oversee the work. If you get a grant, you can use it towards the cost of their fees.

The grant is sometimes paid in instalments, and sometimes in full on completion of the work. The council may pay the contractor directly, or give you a cheque to pass on. They will agree this with you at the outset.

Sometimes, local councils may provide assistance such as low cost loans as well as grants to private homeowners and others to help renovate, repair or adapt their home.

Disabled people do not have to pay VAT on the cost of some building work involved in adaptations to their homes.

If you adapt your home so that you, or another disabled person, can live there, you may be eligible for a one-band reduction on your Council Tax. This is particularly useful if the value of your property has increased in value as a result of the adaptation work, but it applies even if this is not the case.

AFA provides specialist knowledge and advice on disabled adaptations for Local Authorities, Housing Associations, Personal Injury Solicitors and private individuals. Please call or email us for confidential and professional advice.


 26 Augusta Road, Penarth, CF64 5RJ | t: 029 2035 0395 | e:
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