Meet Our Speaker

Jane E. Sleeth
Jane E. Sleeth

Best Selling Author

The Human Factors and Ergonomic Principles in Designing and Building Inclusive Residential Spaces for A Lifespan 

Where would you like to live out your final decade of life? Is it possible for you to remain in your home if you were challenged with a medical condition or mobility issue? The reality of living in a community assisted facility, living with a hundred other residents, might be where you will end up. But Why?

In the Province of Ontario and in Canada, currently 22% of our population has some type of disability. Baby Boomers are growing older and our population is aging at an accelerated pace.
The problem with these demographic realities, is that the current designs of our dwellings, means we most likely will not be able to stay in our homes as we age and develop disabilities. The ugly truth is that our housing stock is not designed for an entire lifespan.

As my good friend and associate Jason Chiles reminds audiences “you are all temporarily abled” and I would add to that “you are all temporarily young”.

In this talk, Jane Sleeth will describe the reason we have challenges with our residential built environment and the lack of inclusive design in our Building Codes. She will address why architects and interior designers need to consult with experts when designing for disability and aging. Jane will identify the experts in disability and aging and speak to the value of developing a team that includes Physiotherapists, Geriatricians and Geriatric Psychologists, or Ergonomists/Human Factors Design experts and what they bring to the project. Today far too many misconceptions and misperceptions about the actual costs associated with developing designs for Aging in Place / Living in Place within the home and condo continue to exist. This means new condos and homes continue to be built across Canada every day without accessibility in mind, preventing homeowners and renters alike from remaining safely and comfortably in their homes well into their life. As an industry expert Jane will present a brief case study of an Access Plus Condo Audit and Report that she and her team developed for a newly built Condo in downtown Toronto.

Jane Sleeth, is Founder and Sr Consulting of OPC. Jane is a Best-Selling Author and has published 3 books on the topics of design for mental health; design for prevention of back and neck injuries, and design as applied to the prevention of injury and disability in the workplace with Thompson-Carswell.
A former professional tennis player who sustained a spinal fracture & a Physiotherapist, Jane was one of Canada’s first Professional Ergonomists & Accessibility Consultants. Her work with companies such as RBC, BMO, Holiday Inn and several Condominiums in Ontario, has led to outstanding results & enhanced accessibility practices.
With more than 30 years of experience in the application of Ergonomic/Human Factors and Inclusive Design for workplaces and homes, Jane leads the OPC consulting team in Auditing Built Environments in a variety of settings from offices, to home offices as well as private homes and condominiums.

Jane and her team sit on the National Build Code development Committee and the BIFMA (Business & Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association) Ergonomic design committees. 

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