What Is Visitability?*
Visitability is a home construction and design approach that incorporates basic accessibility into all newly-built [and renovated] homes and housing. It's thinking about home construction so that anyone can visit anyone else's home.
When visitability features are pre-installed, homeowners and guests, regardless of age or disability, can enjoy the home without having to make significant modifications. Even more important, as homeowners age, they can live in their home longer, rather than be forced to move because of significant barriers.
A visitable home has:
- An entrance without steps
- Wider Interior doorways and hallways on the main level (doors are 36 inches wide, allowing 34 inches of clear passage)
- A bathroom on the main level with space for a wheelchair to maneuver
- Light switches, thermostats, and other environmental controls no higher than 48”
- Wall outlets and receptacles 15” above finished floor
- Lever handles instead of door knobs
- Hallways wide enough to navigate through (minimal 36”- 42”)
Why a visitable home with benefit you:
CONVENIENCE - It's a snap to move large items. No more struggling with luggage. Roll in the stroller. Sprained ankle? No problem!
FLEXIBILITY - Be ready for all of life's seasons
HOSPITALITY - Never have to exclude friends and family with mobility limitations from visiting your home
MARKETABILITY - Build [or renovate] a house with features home buyers and renters want, without losing "curb” appeal
Pre-installed visitability spares homeowners the expense of later renovations. It's an affordable design approach that supports lifestyle changes and enhances the resale value of the home.
*This material has been reprinted verbatim with permission from Indiana University at Bloomington, Indiana Institute for Disability and Community, Center for Planning and Policy Studies.