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The Accessible Virtual Community

Homes and Lodging

Illustration representing Homes & Lodging section of virtual community.

Accessible solutions for homes, human centered design, and assistive technology are only some of the considerations for homes and residences. The American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) and many other organizations that serve our 'older' population are actively involved in improving homes to allow people to live independently in their own residence for as long as possible. In addition to these key resources, you can search for more related information on our Search Page.

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'Universal Design' Concepts Can Keep You in the Home and Community You Love

This website, from Arlington County, Virginia, offers easy to use tips and practical information on making your home universally designed. A photo gallery demonstrates examples.

Official Site of Arlington County, Virginia

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Accessibility and Visitability Features in Single-family Homes: A Review of State and Local Activity

This paper is part of AARP’s Public Policy Institute research into independent living and housing issues. The article includes a look at international trends.

AARP

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Accessibility Requirements for Buildings

This article by the U.S. Department of Housing provides information on the housing accessibility requirements for both private and federally assisted housing.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

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Accessibility Upgrades for Toilets

Raising the height and providing grab bars are just two of many things you can do to make toilets easier for everyone to use. This web page article offers things to be aware of.

AARP

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Accessible Solutions from Bob Vila

This website page includes accessibility concerns from the work of Bob Vila (This Old House TV show). Many accessibility topics have "how to" videos.

Bob Vila

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ADA Requirements: Service Animals

This website has updated ADA guidelines, regulations, and rights for people with service animals.

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AGING IN PLACE & UNIVERSAL DESIGN RESOURCES  (Research based)

This PDF document is loaded with resources for aging in place, including statistics, initiatives, scholarly articles, etc.

California Department of Housing and Community Development, Housing Policy Development Division

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Apartment Accessibility

This webpage includes an "AT Quick Reference" guide to help individuals adapt their apartment to become more accessible. There are also answers to frequently asked questions regarding tenant life, which range from ADA accommodations to easy modifications to make.

Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA)

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Bathroom Accommodations

This webpage includes an "AT Quick Reference" guide to help individuals adapt their bathrooms to be more accessible. This webpage answers frequently asked questions regarding the best ways to adapt the bathroom.

Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA)

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Bedroom Accommodations

This webpage includes an "AT Quick Reference" guide to help individuals make accommodations to their bedroom and adapt their apartment to become more accessible. There are also answers to frequently asked questions regarding bedroom accommodations.

Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA)

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Center for Universal Design: Environments and Products for All People

The Center for Universal Design provides resources to improve environments and products through design innovation, research, education, and design assistance. This webpage lists Center News, Publications, and Programs.

The Center for Universal Design

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Centers for Independent Living - Independent Living Research Utilization  (Research based)

This website includes discussion boards, publications and training. ILRU is a program of TIRR (The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research), a nationally recognized medical rehabilitation facility for persons with disabilities. The ILRU (Independent Living Research Utilization) program is a national center for information, training, research, and technical assistance in independent living. Its goal is to expand the body of knowledge in independent living and to improve utilization of results of research programs and demonstration projects in this field.

TIRR Memorial Hermann

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Dynamic Living

Dynamic-Living.com is a website that allows people to search for and purchase daily living aids. Consumers can search by use such as moving around, sitting/standing, hands, vision, hearing, and communicating, etc… Also, consumers can search by location such as car, bathroom, shower and tub, toilet, medicine cabinet, dressing room, bedroom, and kitchen, etc… Approximately half way down the webpage is a brief (3 minute) video about a bathroom that was made for accessibility but is also aesthetically pleasing.

Dynamic-Living

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Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Program

Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST is an initiative designed to promote compliance with the Fair Housing Act design and construction requirements. The program offers comprehensive and detailed instruction programs, useful online web resources, and a toll-free information line for technical guidance and support.. This website has several resources and links regarding home design.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

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Home Accessibility Checklist

This website provides a checklist for home safety and accessibility features that is organized by room (bedroom, kitchen, etc).

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Home Features and Products Using Universal Design

This web page article offers basics of building homes for the accessibility, safety, comfort and convenience of everyone.

AARP

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Home Remodeling for Disability and Special Needs: What You Need to Know

This resource aims to help make the federal grants available to seniors, veterans, and disabled people easier to understand and take advantage of, particularly for remodeling homes for accessibility.

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In Brief: Accessibility and Visitability Features in Single-family Homes: A Review of State and Local Activity

This web page offers a summary of a full policy document from AARP (also available on this website).

AARP

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Legal Issues Surrounding Housing and Residential Life

This article by Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D. addresses the ADA legal issues surrounding both college housing along with typical residential life. Burgstahler addresses key areas of concern, offers general guidance, and provides resources regarding disability access issues.

DO-IT, Washington University

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Refrigerators and Accessibility

This web page offers information regarding refrigerators and their accessibility. Some adults are short. Others can't raise their arms. Many use wheelchairs.

AARP

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Residential Rehabilitation, Remodeling and Universal Design

This 27 page guide explains general accessibility features every home should include in order to accommodate homeowners with various abilities and needs in the future. The guide includes a list of priority features, select important universal features, and diagrams of how to remodel/build an accessible home inside and out.

The Center for Universal Design, NC State University College of Design

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Residential Remodeling and Universal Design: Making Homes More Comfortable and Accessible

This comprehensive (127 pages) publication (1996) from the USHUD assists homeowners, remodelers and contractors to implement universal design (UD) features into already existing homes. It contains a description of universal design and how to install design features in each room of the home, as well as the exterior. Its appendices offer accessibility standards and other useful references and resources.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

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Supplement to Notice of Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines

This document provides questions and answers about the federal guidelines of the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines that are applicable to certain multifamily dwellings designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991. This document reproduces questions that have been raised most frequently by members of the public, and the Department's answers to these questions.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

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The Independent Living Institute (ILI)

This is the website of a policy development center, in Sweden, specializing in consumer-driven policies for disabled peoples' self-determination, self-respect and dignity. The site includes a virtual library and interactive services for persons with disabilities. Links are available to Independent Living Columnists around the world.

Independent Living Institute, Stockholm-Johanneshov, Sweden

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Tips for Communicating with People who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

A tip sheet for communicating with individuals who are deaf and hard-of-hearing.

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Tools For Introducing Human-Centered Design

From the "Universal Design Education Online" website, in addition to available slide shows (you must register to access) there is a series of 6 "Universal Design Building Surveys". Survey #2 has parking & access.

Universal Design Education Online

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Universal Design in Daily Necessities

This website developed by Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture describes daily necessities that are universally designed.

Department of Community Affairs, Shizuoka, Japan

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Universal Design in the Kitchen

This video highlights the features of the kitchen in the CRDA Universal Design Demo home. In it you will find a lot of good ideas for your own home modifications. Pay particular attention to the kitchen sink. Accesssiblity of kitchen componenents

AgeInPlace.com

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Universal Design New York

This is a desktop reference manual which presents common universal design principles from Universal Design New York and offers examples of how to incorporate these ideas into other projects.

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Universal Home Design

This web site provides several links to improve the designs of homes. This site focuses on ways to univerally design the home.

AARP

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It took me several years of struggling with the heavy door to my building, sometimes having to wait until a person stronger came along, to realize that the door was an accessibility problem, not only for me, but for others as well. And I did not notice, until one of my students pointed it out, that the lack of signs that could be read from a distance at my university forced people with mobility impairments to expend a lot of energy unnecessarily, searching for rooms and offices. Although I have encountered this difficulty myself on days when walking was exhausting to me, I interpreted it, automatically, as a problem arising from my illness (as I did with the door), rather than as a problem arising from the built environment having been created for too narrow a range of people and situations.

Susan Wendell, author of
The Rejected Body: Feminist Philosophical Reflections on Disability