What is SEMAFOR home?

A standardized (valid and reliable) methodology called SEMAFOR home (Smart Assessment Methodology of Accessibility for Home) is a unique objective tool for assessing barriers in the home environment for people with disabilities.

This tool used while performing home visits serves to systematically identify architectural and other barriers with regard to specific disabilities and the actual needs of the individual, which is a basic prerequisite for optimizing the home environment of persons with disabilities.
Architectural barriers to a large extent isolate people with motor limitations from society and prevent them to return to active and fully-fledged life including their work experience. The employment of disadvantaged people in the labor market does not only concern economic areas, but its importance also extends to social and psychological rehabilitation.

Advantages of SEMAFOR home methodology:

  • Comprehensive systematic assessment of the entire household
  • Focus on client preferences
  • Easy to fill in
  • On-line color visualization of individual barriers according to their severity (in traffic lights colors)
  • Emphasis on the frequency of how often the barrier should be overcome

In the Czech Republic a standard tool to systematically assess barriers and to propose an effective way of eliminating them based on the outcome of the evaluation was missing. Czech Association of OTs and ILA, Ltd. therefore in the years 2012 – 2014 implemented a project aimed at developing a suitable methodology. The source of inspiration was a similar tool called Housing Enabler developed by the partner of the project - Department of Health Sciences at Medical Faculty of University Lund (Sweden) Housing Enabler, unlike SEMAFOR home, is based on Swedish legislative standards and does not reflect the specific needs of the respective client and the frequency of necessity to overcome the concrete barrier.

Standardization process

The tool was tested in our country (32 households) and in Portugal (4 surveys carried out by Centro de Reabilitacao Profissional de Gaia) and all the findings and the feed-back and remarks of the Ots were incorporated into the final version of the forms.
The validity of the methodology has been demonstrated already during the implementation of this project.

Reliability was determined on the basis of further evaluations with a total of 62 households of persons with motoric limitation being visited in 2017. Each household was evaluated independently by two OTs and their results were then statistically processed. This has demonstrated the credibility of the tool: the rating is not dependent on the person who performs it, thus the reliability has been proved. The standardization process was successfully completed within the framework of the "Proof of Concept" project funded by the Prague Pole of Growth Operational Program and co-financed by ILA, Ltd.