Independent Living Institute


Housing adaptation


The following organizations may provide architectural accessibility information and printed materials related to architectural design standards and specifications.

Abledata, Newington Children's Hospital, 181 East Cedar Street, Newington, CT. 06111, United States.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 1430 Broadway, New York, NY. 10018, United States.

Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, 1111 18th St., N.W., Washington, DC. 20202, United States.

Center for Accessible Housing, Research and Training Center, Box 8613, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. 27695.8613, United States.

National Organization on Disability, 2100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 234, Washington, DC. 20037, United States.

National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), 8455 Colesville Road, Suite 935, Silver Spring, MD. 20910-3319, United States.

Paralyzed Veterans of America, 801 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC. 20006, United States.

Rehabilitation Engineering Center on Modifications to Worksites & Educational Settings, CP Research Foundation of Kansas, Inc., 2021 North Old Manor, Box 8217, Wichita, KS. 67208, United States.

Rehabilitation Training Center on Community Living, University of Minnesota, 101 Pattee Hall, 150 Pillsbury Drive, SE., Minneapolis, MN. 55455, United States.

CIB W84 "Building Non-Handicapping Environments" is an international NGO committed to universal barrier-free design. CIB W84 works for better awareness of the environmental needs of old and disabled persons, technical expertise on design solutions and access legislation. The following publications are available:

CIB Building Non-Handicapping Environments Newsletter

Urban Renewal and Accessibility for Old and Disabled Persons, Proceedings of the CIB W84 Expert Seminar in Prague 1987.

Accessibility Issues in Developing Countries, Proceedings of the CIB W84 Expert Seminar in Tokyo 1988.

Address: CIB W84 Secretariat, Department of Building Function Analysis, Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden.

"A Barrier-Free House: Accommodating a Wheelchair Calls for Careful Planning Inside and Out", in Fine Homebuilding Magazine, No. 53, April/May 1989, pp. 67-71.

Both exterior and interior design are covered in this 5 page document which includes a copy of the floor plan and several photographs of selected features.

Adaptable Housing: Marketable Accessible Housing for Everyone. 1987.

This book advocates well designed housing that is usable by all populations and does not look any different than any other house.

Available from HUD USER, PO Box 6091, Rockville, Maryland 20850, United States.

American National Standard for Building Facilities: Providing Accessibility and Usability for Physically Handicapped People. Revised 1986.

These are the ANSI specifications for making buildings and facilities accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities. These are intended for use in new buildings, and renovations to older buildings except "historic" structures. Reference for this publication is under A117.1-1986 of the ANSI publications listing. Contact the American National Standards Institute at the address above.

Creation of the Barrier-Free Interior. 1988. Written by Patricia M. Johnson

This is an excellent publication which focuses on all areas of home accessibility. It also gives tips on accessible interior design. 148 page publication, well illustrated.

Available from A Positive Approach, Inc., 1600 Malone Street, Municipal Airport, Millville, NJ. 08332, United States.

"Designing a Barrier-Free Environment for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons" in Rehabilitation Digest, Vol. 20, No.1, Spring 1989, pp. 12-14.

This is a short narrative discussion of the need for and means of designing buildings and homes for sensory-impaired persons. This article has a Canadian perspective that gives design solutions for various problems.

Source: Request Program, Rehabilitation Engineering Center, National Rehabilitation Hospital, 102 Irving Street, NW., Washington, DC. 20010-2949, United States.

Daviels, T., Beasley, K. "Accessible Housing", in Paraplegia News: Vol. 43, No. 5, May 1989.

Narrative discussion of the status of accessible housing, building products and related regulations for aging and disabled citizens in the U.S. Developers are encouraged to offer basic plans with sufficient flexibility, allowing units to be modified at the time of purchase to meet the buyer's specific needs or allowing the owner to make future modifications, at reasonable cost, should the need rise. Other topics include: multifamily housing and assisted living; changes in residential construction and home products; and, accessible housing in the context of the community. Figures and a summary of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 included.

Sharp,David, Laurel Richards, Laurie Gerken, and Kathleen Hampton. Constructing a Barrier-free Home. ILRU Field Work No. 3. Houston: ILRU Program, 1985.

This is the third of a set of three brochures developed for ILRU´s National Technical Assistance Project for Rural Independent Living. In this concise format, authors provide information on modifying one´s home to make it more accessible. It includes basic accessibility requirements for key features such as doorways, kitchens, bathrooms, cabinets, and ramps.

Address: ILRU at Texas Institute for Rehabilitation, 2323 S. Shepherd, Suite 1000, Houston, TX 77019, United States.

Design with Care: A Guide to Adaptation of the Built Environment for Disabled Persons in Developing Regions, United Nations Center, Vienna 1981.

The aim of the guide is to facilitate the work of planners, architects, and designers, as well as others who are engaged in public and private building projects in developing regions. The guide refers primarily to public buildings at urban or village level. The guide also attempts to present simple solutions to frequently occurring practical problems, in order to make public buildings and the entire urban environment usable for various groups of disabled persons.

Available from: United Nations Center, CSDHA/United Nations, P.O.Box 500, 1400 Vienna, Austria

Housing and Home Services for the Disabled: Guidelines and Experiences in Independent Living, Laurie, Gini, editor. Harper and Row, 1977.

A world-wide assortment of housing experiments is presented. The aim is to enable government agencies, voluntary organizations, organizations of disabled persons and individuals to find either specific solutions to these problems or pertinent examples to use as models. Reference to legislative and housing projects designed for the elderly, developmentally disabled, and physically disabled are included.

Available from: Harper and Row Publishers, Inc., 2350 Virginia Avenue, Hagerstown, MD 21740, United States.

Lifchez, Raymond and Winslow, Barbara, Design for Independent Living: The Environment and Physically Disabled People, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1979.

This book is as much on accessible architecture as it is on the community of disabled people living in Berkeley, California. It gives useful examples and hints on how to make your house or apartment more accessible. At the same time, it provides the reader with portraits and role models of disabled individuals by way of beautiful and very personal photos. Unlike most books on such subjects, Design for Independent Living depicts us as unique individuals.

Lifchez, Raymond, "Designing Supportive Physical Environments", in Crewe, Nancy M. & Zola, Irving Kenneth, Independent Living for Physically Disabled People, Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, 1983.

Lifchez, Raymond, "The Environment as a Support System for Independent Living." Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Vol. 60, No. 10, October 1979. American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 30 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60602, United States.

This study evaluates the environment of physically disabled young adults living independently in Berkeley, California and its ability to accommodate their needs.

Harkness, Sarah P. and James N. Groom, Jr. Building without Barriers for the Disabled. New York: The Whitney Library of Design, 1976.

Resource Guide to Literature on Barrier-Free Environments. Washington, D.C.: Architectural and Transportation Compliance Board, January 1977.

Steinfeld, Ed (ed.) Access to the Built Environment: A Review of Literature, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, D.C., 1979.

Address: Prof. Ed Steinfeld, Adaptive Environments Laboratory, SUNY/Buffalo, 112 Hayes Hall, 3435 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14214, United States.

The following resources are published by the Research and Training Center on Independent Living, University of Kansas:

Mace, R L, Young, L C, & Telles, C (1980). Planner's guide to barrier free meetings. Raleigh, NC: Barrier Free Environment & Harold Russell Association, Waltham, MA.

Offers practical advice on how to include disabled people in general meeting-planning activities. Covers preplanning concerns, such as site selection, services, publicity; accessibility of meeting rooms and overnight rooms; locating resources for services and equipment.

Scott, B (1986). Book of renovations. Lawrence: RTC/IL, University of Kansas.

Beautiful illustrations depict most common problems and solutions to renovating existing buildings and facilities to make them accessible to and usable by people with physical disabilities.

Lifchez, R (1981). Architects and the movement for barrier-free design. Lawrence: RTC/IL, University of Kansas. Presentation for Conference on Independence, University of Kansas.

Discusses architect's noncommitment to barrier-free design. Accessibility laws examined as well as possibility of uniform accessible building codes.

Nelson, C F, Jones, M L, & Salkind, N J (1986). "Promoting wheelchair accessibility of private settings." Environmental and Behavior, 18 (1).

Documents barriers to access by wheelchair in a sample of 2,000 privately owned, public use settings in one midwestern city. Six intervention strategies evaluated to encourage getting managers to call or write for free technical assistance in making their setting more accessible.

Address: RTC/IL, 4089 Dole Bldg./LSI,University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, United States.

Penton, John, A Handbook on Housing for the Disabled, Center for Accessible Environments, London. Address: CAE, 35 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BJ, United Kingdom.

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