This is our primary photo gallery. For more specific galleries, please see these pages and handouts:
- Segregated Townhouses vs. Integrated Townhouses
- Houses on Steep Terrain
- Traditional Neighborhood Design: Four Solutions
- Atlanta Habitat for Humanity – 100% Visitable Community Examples (PDF document)
Visitability Added On Later vs. Visitability Built In
Segregated Townhouses vs. Integrated Townhouses
The resident in the disability-designated unit (with the ramp and wheelchair sign) unfortunately can not visit dozens of neighbors, living in a row of townhouses built with a step up to each porch. Nor can residents in the neighboring units enter or exit their own homes independently if they experience a temporary or permanent disability. A sidewalk parallel to the curb and low-cost grading, when the units were constructed, could have provided every home with a zero-step entry. Fortunately, every home in the 87 unit development at right offers a zero-step entrance and ample door widths inside.
For additional, extensive photos and text on townhouses, see Townhouse Problems, Townhouse Alternatives.
In June 2003, Bolingbrook IL passed a Visitability ordinance requiring basic access in all new homes. Several years prior to the law, the City had been strongly urging Visitability and many builders had complied. As of June 2007, more than 3,600 Visitable homes had been constructed. Nearly all have basements — as opposed to slab construction — and only a handful required exemption from the zero-step entrance. City officials state that there have been no problems with moisture at the entries, even though many of the homes have weathered four snowy winters. The photos above show several of the homes.
San Antonio, TX
Three of the 7,000+ homes built under the San Antonio Ordinance as of August 2006 (photos by City of San Antonio).
Habitat for Humanity – Atlanta, GA
Several of 45 homes are shown from a 100% Visitable neighborhood built by Habitat for Humanity at Browns Mill Road and Mount Zion in Atlanta, GA. The neighborhood is a good example of affordable access achieved on a variety of terrains: flat lots, steep up-hill and steep down-hill. Variety of design also includes some built on concrete slabs, others on crawl spaces. Since 1990, the Atlanta affiliate of Habitat for Humanity has built virtually all their homes with access — more than 800 as of 2007.
The Visitable Gingerbread House!
Wall Street Journal — November 17, 1998 — “The Christmas decor . . . includes what has to be the first-ever handicapped accessible gingerbread house contributed by the Center for Disability Rights.” The house, created by the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester, NY for the city’s annual gingerbread art display, gained a photo and article in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, as well as other media attention. Disability activist Bruce Darling, one of the house’s creators, said that thousands of people have toured the display. Many pause to read the macaroni-lettered sign beside the visitable house listing architectural features that make a home welcoming to disabled guests. Open at the back like a doll house, the gingerbread home lets people see surely the world’s only candy commode and grab rail. You never know when Santa’s going to need a boost.