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Saturday, April 30, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 33




Visitability features make homes easier for people who develop a mobility impairment to visit friends and extended family rather than having to turn down invitations, or not be invited at all.

Friday, April 29, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 32


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Visitability does not ensure complete residence accessibility but access to principal spaces in a building — the entrance, entry-level floor, and washroom facilities to people with mobility issues. Other accessible features, such as a roll-in shower or accessible kitchen features, are typically not requirements contained in visitability laws.

People undergoing physical rehabilitation from injury or illness can return home earlier, continuing their rehabilitation on an outpatient basis.

Designing for visitability is also convenient to people without disabilities who are using strollers or carriages, or moving furniture in and out of a home. Smaller people and children benefit from accessible light switches and climate controls.

Housing units with visitability features are usually indistinguishable from those without such features.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 31


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Legislation that calls for designing and constructing built environments sensitive to people with disabilities:

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires "accessibility to places of public accommodation and commercial facilities by individuals with disabilities.”
The Fair Housing Act Amendments passed in 1988 require all new or substantially rehabilitated multifamily housing (i.e., housing with four or more units) to be built with accessible features (i.e., accessible entrances, doors, corridors, reinforced bathroom walls, usable kitchens and bathroom, and accessible climate controls).

These laws require accessible features in public places and multifamily housing units, but not the single-family home. Sixty-nine percent of all housing units in the United States are single-family homes.

These means that many Americans are living in homes not designed for people with disabilities. The increasing number of people with disabilities brought on by the increase in the number of seniors will only serve to exacerbate this situation.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 30


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Study conducted by
the American Association of Retired Persons


Ninety percent of people ages 65 and over want to continue living in their current residence as long as possible.

There are more than one million households with a resident over the age of 65 with a disability in accommodations that lack accessible features.

People with disabilities who live in accessible homes (or retirement facilities or similar residences) still need to access the homes of their relatives, friends and neighbors.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 29


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Standard Visitability Access Features

• At least one zero-step entrance on an accessible route leading from a driveway or public sidewalk;

• All interior doors providing at least 31 ¾ inches (81 cm) of unobstructed passage space; and

• At least a half bathroom on the main floor.

Monday, April 25, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 28


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

VISITABILITY

An international movement to change home construction practices so that new homes offer three specific accessibility features.

Similar to Universal Design in general intention, but more focused in scope, more specific in parameters, and more explicitly grounded in social reform intent.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 26


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

The current generation of children, baby boomers entering middle age, older adults, people with disabilities, and individuals inconvenienced by circumstance, constitute a market majority.

All of these constituencies and indeed, all consumers, deserve to be recognized and respected. Facilities, devices, services, and programs must be designed to serve an increasingly diverse clientele.

Friday, April 22, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 25


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Faucets that can be used without tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist are easier to use for everyone, and can be aesthetically beautiful.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 24


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Universal design strives to integrate people with disabilities into the mainstream and assistive technology attempts to meet the specific needs of individuals, but the two fields intersect in a gray zone in which products and environments are not clearly "universal" or "assistive," but have characteristics of each.

Some products have enjoyed crossover success, starting as assistive devices and becoming mainstream products, such as the kitchen utensils with thick grips popularized by Oxo International in their "Good Grips" line.

A few products have moved the other way, conceived as high-tech devices for small markets that find new application in the rehabilitation arena, such as voice recognition software.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 23


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

PRODUCT EXAMPLES

• Lever-style door handles that aid people with hand limitations as well as someone carrying bags of groceries

• Curb cuts or sidewalk ramps, essential for people in wheelchairs, but also used by parents pushing strollers

• Use of icons or symbols with text labels that benefit people with cognitive impairments & speakers of other languages

• Closed captioning on television networks for people who are deaf or hard of hearing

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 22


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

PRINCIPLES of UNIVERSAL DESIGN

• Equitable use
• Flexibility in use
• Simple and intuitive
• Perceptible information
• Tolerance for error (design that enables a system to continue operation, possibly at a reduced level rather than failing completely, when some part of the system fails.)
• Low physical effort
• Size and space for approach and use

Monday, April 18, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 21


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Demographic changes result in a population that is older and more disabled than many realize.

Limitations imposed by products and environments designed and built without regard to the needs and rights of all American citizens are significant.

Public acknowledgment of people with disabilities and progress toward universal design has developed in the last few decades along three parallel tracks:
(1) legislation fueled by the disability rights movement;
(2) barrier-free design to universal design movement; and
(3) advances in rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 20


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

At the start of the 20th century, older adults and people with disabilities were true minorities. The average human lifespan was only 47 years, and people with spinal cord injuries had only a 10% chance of survival.

People are living longer today and more people are now living with disability. The average lifespan has increased to 76, largely due to healthier living, better medicine, vaccines and sanitation. Nearly 80% of the population now lives past the age of 65.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 19


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Broad-spectrum architectural planning ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments inherently accessible to both people with and without disabilities.

Emerged from the broader accessibility movement and adaptive and assistive technology, and seeks to blend aesthetics into these core considerations.

Unlike early forms of accessible design, which often segregated people with disabilities, universal design involves environments that can be used by a wide range of users, regardless of their age or level of ability.

Friday, April 15, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 18


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Both the lack of accessible housing and affordable housing present challenges to people with disabilities who seek to live independently.


In the State of New York, over 24,000 persons live in nursing homes and want to live elsewhere.

One person in a nursing home costs the state approximately $100,000 per year, when a simple housing subsidy would save tens of thousands of Medicaid and private insurance dollars.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 17


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

About one in seven people now living in nursing homes in the U.S. is under age 65.

The number of under-age 65 nursing home residents has risen about 22 percent in the past eight years to about 203,000.

Federal law requires states to provide alternatives to institutional care when possible.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 16


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Approximately 20% of the United States population lives with some level of disability, and people with disabilities are almost three times as likely to live in poverty than any other group.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 15


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

"America handicaps disabled people. And because that is true, we are handicapping America itself."

-- Dr. Frank Bowe, Ph.D, LL.D, (1947- 2007) nationally recognized champion for the rights of people with disabilities.

Monday, April 11, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 14


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

The useful life of a building may span many decades during which the uses of the facility can change.

Even if the occupants of a building must meet demanding physical fitness requirements, this generally does not abrogate the need for the building to be accessible to people with disabilities.

Other employees, such as those responsible for cleaning, maintenance, and clerical tasks, may need access to some or all of the areas in question. Supervisory personnel and officials may also need access to such areas.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 13


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Lifts are permitted to provide vertical accessibility in alterations, but should be avoided, if at all possible. They frequently break down, and are thus notoriously unreliable. They typically require a key to operate – a key that no one can find. Ramps are almost always a better solution.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 12


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Even with highly skilled crews, building ramps is not an exact science. The slump of the concrete often creates an inconsistent slope. Designing ramps at a slope of 1:12 leaves no room for error during construction. Designing at 1:14 is preferable whenever possible.

Specify that no two points 24” apart shall be steeper than 1:14 when measured with a 24” Smart Level.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 9


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Under FACBC:
Vertical accessibility is required -- whether by a elevator, ramp, or lift – any time there is an abrupt change in elevation greater than ½ inch.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 8


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

An accessible path of travel routed behind vehicles is not only not compliant but very dangerous for wheelchair users who may not be visible to drivers backing up.

Monday, April 4, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 7


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Florida Building Code requires that all accessible parking spaces be located on an accessible route no less than 44 inches wide so that users will not be compelled to walk or wheel behind parked vehicles.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 6


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

In Florida, the fine for parking illegally in an accessible space also applies to persons who park in the access aisle, even if they have a disabled parking placard.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT - 4


A GUIDE TO UNIVERSAL DESIGN

FACBC accessible parking space requires a 12 foot wide space & 5 foot wide access aisle.

Similar to ADA universal design space: 11 foot space with 5 foot access aisle.