So many houses are built without limited mobility people in mind. This carelessness in design means that while a person might outfit their own home to make it wheelchair accessible, visiting other homes and buildings can be a struggle. Keeping in mind the concept of “visitability” when constructing or designing a house will ensure that any future occupant for years to come will feel at home there.
- Acknowledgment of accessibility as a civil right that improves quality of life
- Basic accessibility features for new housing can be inexpensively implemented by following good design practice
- Only a small number of essential features are required to make a home accessible to anyone
Basically, advocates of home accessibility and visitability say that it is much easier to design a house that is accessible to all occupants and visitors – with or without limited mobility – than it is to try and add those features onto a house already constructed. Some people end up having to move as they age or after suffering an injury, because their old home simply doesn’t work for them anymore. Or else, they are nominally trapped in their homes because it is too difficult to visit other places.
This is especially ludicrous when one considers the few features necessary to build a fully accessible home:
- One zero-step entrance accessible via street, sidewalk, or driveway
- Minimum widths for ground floor doorways and hallways, for easy wheelchair maneuverability
- Ground floor bathroom – preferably a full bath, and wide enough for a wheelchair. Reinforced walls that are able to support the installation of grab bars around the toilet are also a plus
- Light switches and outlets in easily reachable locations for all
There are also ways to make a backyard wheelchair accessible, so everyone can enjoy outdoor barbecues and parties. Having a path built-in to the backyard is the simplest way to make it wheelchair accessible. This way no one has to struggle with moving the wheels over grass or uneven ground.
Without these visitability features it is extremely difficult to host guests with wheelchairs or who have limited mobility. As the homeowner grows older, it is more likely that they themselves will require at least some of these features. They will either have to pay to have the house renovated, or move.
Designing homes that are universally accessible is the most logical and cost-effective thing to do. It saves occupants a lot of time and expense in the long-term, and it means that no one will ever be physically barred from visiting. Just a few simple features can drastically improve the quality of life of everyone who enters those homes, and make them feel welcome.
Your home should be welcoming you, not worrying you
Please contact Amramp’s National Customer Service Center 888-715-7598
When you're looking for accessibility products, you need a company with experience. Amramp is familiar with the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as local zoning laws.
Certified Aging in Place Speciliasts (CAPS) are trained by the National Association of Home Builders on remodeling and retrofitting existing homes for special needs.
Amramp can evaluate any home to determine what changes are needed to make the living space as accommodating as possible in the years ahead.
Check out Amramp’s full line of accessibility solutions or take advantage of Amramp’s FREE evaluation to review your needs and lay out a plan that is right for you by calling 888-715-7598 or emailing to [email protected].