Concrete Change is an international network whose goal is making ALL new homes visitable, not just “special” homes. Being at the party, the meeting, the family reunion . . . not isolated. Our method is policy, because the market alone is not enough to address the segregation, public health problems and fiscal waste of continuing to build houses with no access. We focus on three essentials that must become the default in home construction practice:
- One zero-step entrance, at the front, back or side of the house.
- All main floor doors, including bathrooms, with at least 32 inches of clear passage space.
- At least a half bath, preferably a full bath, on the main floor.
Lack of a zero-step entrance shuts out people who use wheelchairs or walkers, or have weakness, stiffness or balance problems. Narrow bathroom doors stop wheelchair users from entering the bathroom in a friend or relative’s home.
And universal basic access goes beyond visiting. It’s also about your own home if a family member develops a disability. When basic access is not in place, architecture forces severe choices: Expensive renovations — if a home is even amenable to renovation. Or existing as a virtual prisoner in an unsafe, unhealthy house — unable to exit independently or enter one’s own bathroom. Or the disruption, grief and high financial cost of moving out of one’s community into a nursing home.
City by city, builder by builder, agency by agency….policy change has already begun in Arizona, Texas, Illinois, Georgia and many other locales. On this site we offer resources to help you take part in the quest for Visitability.