Senior Citizen's Guide to Cleveland 2016-17 Winter/Spring Edition - page 30

Howvisitable is your home? Can
people usingwheelchairs, walkers or
canes visit inside or would they have
trouble even getting to the front door?
Making a home visitable ensures that
it will be a welcoming and inviting
environment for everyone, from
grandparents to babies in strollers.
What are some basic changes you
can make to make your home more
welcoming?The answer is a national
movement called Visitability.
The Visitability initiative was
started by the nonprofit Concrete
Change, which advocates for in-
dividuals with physical mobility
disabilities by promoting visitable
single-family housing through
policy change. Many municipalities
nationwide have enactedVisitability
Laws for new home construction
to ensure that they are constructed
with accessibility in mind. Eleanor
Smith, the founder of Concrete
Change, noted the need for visitable
homes, “When someone builds a
home, they’re not just building it for
themselves - that home is going to
be around for 100 years. Accessible
entrances hurt nobody - and they
help a lot of other people.”
Visitability consists of three
core principles:
1. A home should have a zero-
step entrance
2. Door widths need to be at
least 32-inches
3. A home should have a usable
half-or full-bathroom located
on the first floor
A zero-step entrance can be
achieved at any entrance to the
home. When constructing a new
home, the front entrance can be
graded to create a gradual slope
from there to the sidewalk or
driveway. If community standards
require steps at the front of the
home, a zero-step entrance can be
similarly created at the side or back
of the home. When renovating an
existing home, creating a zero-step
entrance can be more challenging.
Many older homes feature a high
front entrance with several steps,
How to Make Your Home
More Visitable
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Many municipalities nationwide have enacted
Visitability Laws for new home construction to ensure
that they are constructed with accessibility in mind.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
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