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Building a Fully Wheelchair Accessible Home

stephanie426stephanie426 Moderator Posts: 60 Moderator
10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Likes First Answer
Hi All, 

My fiance and I are building our own fully accessible wheelchair accessible home in about 3 years.  We've bought 2.6 acres to build on and are excited to build.  As an attorney focused on disability rights and the ADA, I'm very familiar with codes and requirements for public entities to be accessible,  but we're seeking to go far beyond basic access. My fiance and I are both wheelchair users and want to have a home that we can both navigate, and have room for a few kids who will (hopefully!) also use wheelchairs. My fiance is a retired Paralympic athlete and he coaches children with disabilities, so if we don't naturally have any disabled children I'm sure we'll adopt a few. All of this to say, we're going to need a house with tons of space and innovative access options.  

We're working with an architect that I love. We go to church together and we've worked together on access projects for municipalities in the past, so I know he gets it when it comes to access.  

What I really want is for our home to demonstrate that access can be beautiful. I think that far too often we have to choose between access and aesthetics and that simply shouldn't be the case. Accessible entrances don't need to be clunky ramps. They can be smooth zero grade entrances.  An accessible shower can be gorgeous with stonework and a beautiful built in bench for two.  

Other ideas we have:
- a roll in pantry
- a roll in pool
- extra wide hallways (With two wheelchair users in one house, we're always getting trapped in hallways). 
- standard height and drop counters in kitchen
- microwave under the counter
- cupboards with roll out shelves
- Roll under stovetop
- Roll out basement
- extra wide doors 
- hardwood floors from reclaimed wood so that there's already imperfections. 

What ideas do you have? If you were building, what beautiful accessibility features would you include? 


  • heatherkrillheatherkrill Moderator Posts: 82 Moderator
    10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Likes 5 Awesomes
    This all sounds so lovely.  My husband uses a wheelchair and we are both always getting trapped in the hallway so I can't even imagine more than one wheelchair.  Your ideas sound innovative and smart and equally beautiful.  Thank you for sharing!  
  • WAGSofSCIWAGSofSCI Moderator Posts: 384 Moderator
    100 Awesomes 100 Likes 100 Comments First Anniversary
    @stephanie426 all of this sounds amazing... goals!!!! I wish we could afford a full house. The property in vancouver Canada is so expensive!! - brooke
    Your WAGS of SCI
    (Elena and Brooke)
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