According to the National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification, home modification “includes major or minor adaptations to the interior or exterior home environments that make it possible for the person living in the home to carry out daily activities more safely and independently.” Examples of home modifications include building a ramp, replacing doorknobs with pull handles, and widening doorways and lowering countertops and light switch heights for people who use wheelchairs for mobility. The National Council on Independent Living defines visitability as designing a single-family or owner-occupied housing in such a way that it can be lived in or visited by people with disabilities. A home is visitable when it meets three basic requirements: one entrance with no steps, doors are 32 inches wide and have a clear passage space, and one bathroom on the main floor that can be accessed by people who use wheelchairs.
Are you looking thinking of modifying your home for yourself or so that it is visitable by a loved one with disabilities? Read NARIC’s FAQ on information and resources for home modification. Contact NARIC’s information specialists if you are looking for research, resources, and information on home modification and visitability.