TSW is currently working with Eleanor Smith of Concrete Change and the Georgia Coalition of EasyLiving Home to spread the word that new housing can be both welcoming to persons with disabilities and aesthetically pleasing. Both are active participants in the Visit-ability movement, an effort to incorporate basic access in all new homes.
Visit-ability includes three essentials: A zero-step entrance, main floor interior doors (including bathrooms) that have 32 inches of clear passage and a half bath (preferably a full bath) located on the main floor. According to Ms. Smith, these features are feasible and inexpensive.
With a focus on addressing the urban design challenges of such homes, TSW designers and our partners are examining design solutions balancing zero-step entrances with positive urban design.
TSW believes that, in a time where the demographics of older Americans is rising rapidly, this goal makes sense for everyone. To promote this, TSW has compiled a library of imagesfrom around the world of well-designed home entrances. Although all are different, the common feature of each home is a basic respect for both persons with disabilities and sound urban design.
Many of the homes successfully balance the two with:
- An accessible front door, which uses a slight vertical separation between the sidewalk and entry to allow for privacy to residents and the provision of a ramp between the sidewalk and the door.
- Kneewalls or landscaping between the door and the sidewalk, which enclose ramps, define the public/private edge, and provide resident privacy.
- Accessible side or rear entries FOR SITUATIONS where the front door accessibility is not practical, which allows persons with disabilities to enter the home by a walkway or ramp running from the sidewalk.
It is TSW’s hope that this effort at finding common ground will bring advocates for the disabled and urban designers together to ensure that communities can truly respect the diversity of citizenry that define them.
To Learn More
To see examples of well-designed accessible home entrances, see our Visit-ability Image Library.
For more information on Concrete Change and Visit-ability please visitwww.concretechange.org.
For examples of accessible homes please visit www.easylivinghome.org.