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BellaOnline's Children with Special Needs Editor

Home Accessibility and Visitability for Children

Designing home accessibility, adaptability and visitability into neighborhoods will mean that children with disabilities can enjoy all the comforts of home, visit friends and loved ones in their own community, and stay with extended family wherever they travel.

How could visiting relatives during holidays or vacations have been made easier through home accessibility, universal design or other accommodations for children and adults with disabilities or mobility issues?

Adaptable homes for children using wheelchairs need only simple modifications that could have been designed into their entire community through recommendations now made by accessible and visitable housing advocates and builders.

Federal laws requiring accessibility and accommodations in rental housing have helped open up new possibilities for families raising a child with mobility issues and other special needs, too. Universal design concepts help make homes adaptable for those with unexpected or temporary mobility challenges; allow older adults to stay in their own homes and neighborhoods; and accommodate strollers, crawlers and toddlers.

Families looking for a new home now have options where builders have made accessible or adaptable homes available. In some communities, there are now 'visitability' ordinances that require basic design planning to accommodate access. Going to a friend's house or spending the weekend with their favorite relative would be much simpler in those neighborhoods!

Browse at your local bookstore, public library or online retailer for titles like Universal Design in Homes, Libby and the Cape of Visitability or, Accessible Home Design.

Opening Doors Newsletter - Accessibility, Adaptability, Universal Design, and Visitable Housing

Easy Living Home.org


‘Visitable’ housing gaining support

National Organization on Disability
Access to Independence: Housing Access

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)
Accessibility in Our Built Environment - Visitability

PBS - Independent Lens - On a Roll

Center for an Accessible Society
HR5683 - Inclusive Home Design Act - go to http://thomas.loc.gov and type in HR5683

Univ of Montana Rural Institute - Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities - Visitability

Seven Principles of Universal Design and Barriers to Implementation of Universal Design

Housing Advocate's Resource List

AARP Accessibility and Visitability Features in Single-family Homes

Easter Seals
Easy Access Housing Tips

Home Accessibility and Visitability for Families of Children with Special Needs

Teens with Disabilities - Transition Planning

Grandparents of Children with Special Needs

Sibling Support and Rivalry - Brothers and Sisters of Children with Special Needs

Us and Them - by Mayer Shevin

Diversity World

NFPA Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) developed this free guide as a resource for creating an all-inclusive evacuation plan that considers everyone’s needs for evacuation, including the needs of people with disabilities. Please share this with local mayors, fire and police chiefs, and school district directors.

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