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BARRIER-FREE As a contractor, you may have been asked to build or rehab a home for someone requiring barrier-free design. If this is your first barrier-free project, you'll probably have a lot of questions. What is Barrier-Free Design? Barrier-free design (also known as accessible or universal design) is aimed at making the environment hospitable to the user, especially people with physical impairments, young and old. Before 1973 little attention was paid to the concerns and rights of the disabled. That year federal guidelines were enacted to make public facilities accessible to physically handicapped people. There are still no standards, however, for private homes. So when designers are called upon to create barrier-free homes, they often draw on the institutional standards. This