Universal Home Sweet HomeBy Watkins, Nathalea; New Mobility,
Publication Date: April 2, 2007
Article discusses incorporating principles of universal design into the building of homes to accommodate people with disabilities. Illustrative examples of projects and resources offered include: (1) Del Valle Homes in Modesto, California, which builds homes with features such as no-step entrances, wide corridors, accessible baths, lever door handles, raised outlets, and lowered light switches that allow their owners to age in place; (2) a book of affordable, accessible house plans with designs ranging from 1,000 square-feet retreats to country estates, developed by architect Charles Schwab; (3) The Visualizer, a scale model of a man in a wheelchair which, when wheeled trough potential house plans, identifies tight spots and wasted space, stamping any offending spot; (4) checklists on accessible design features, available from several resources including one from the Center For Universal Design at North Carolina State University, featuring gold, silver, and bronze-level components of a universally-designed home, where gold standards include mechanically-lowered cabinets, a package bench by the front door, and accessible entrances and bathrooms; (5) the Universal Design Living Laboratory, designed by a wheelchair user in Columbus, Ohio, who turned the building of her accessible home into a showcase; (6) Rehabitat, a non-profit organization that remodels homes at little or no cost for disabled or aging owners; and (7) Habitat for Humanity’s Stillwater, Oklahoma location, where accessible 1,000-square-feet homes are put up for less than 50,000 dollars thanks to volunteer labor. A resource list of house plans, online virtual visits of model homes, books, and articles is appended.
Published by: No Limits Communications Inc. (Website:http://www.newmobility.com)
Link to text: http://www.visualizerset.com/visualizer-article.htm