Finding an Accessible Apartment

When you are apartment hunting, you scout the location to make sure it is convenient.  You want to make sure the apartment has enough space and room to accommodate your needs. Finding an apartment that has the whole package is already a difficult task to do. However, when you are a disabled apartment hunter, it is more challenging to find a place that is comfortable and accessible all under one roof.

 

To find an accessible apartment, keep in mind what accessible means to you so you are prepared to ask the right questions when you are searching for an apartment.

New apartment complexes have a higher chance of being accessible. Under the federal law, they have to follow accessibility requirements. This means new complexes are required to have accessible parking, common areas, routes, etc. If new apartment complexes are over your budget, there is still hope in finding the perfect accessible apartment for you. Even though most apartment complexes do not have all wheelchair accessible features, there are ways to fix these issues by using technology and investing on mobility aid products.

When you are looking for an apartment, take consideration what is needed to make your living situations accessible and comfortable. Prepare a list of questions and solutions (if certain areas or features are not wheelchair accessible) to help determine which apartment is the right one for you. Below are some things to look for:

 

Doorways

The door needs to be at 32 inches wide for a wheelchair to get through. Some doors use knobs that may be hard to use. You may prefer swinging doors that do not require a handle depending on your accommodating. Determine what types of door that will accommodate your needs.

Flooring

Carpet might not be suitable for wheelchairs because it is difficult to use on thick or padded carpets depending on the type of chair that you are using. Tile, wood, or linoleum flooring makes it easy for wheelchairs to navigate throughout the apartment.

Wall Features (light switches and thermostats)

Many wall features, such as light switches and thermostats, are installed to high. This makes it difficult for wheelchair users to reach them while sitting down. If they are too high, there are several ways to make it fix the issue. You can install Bluetooth technology that allows lights and thermostats to be controlled through an app on your smartphone or a remote.

Bathroom

Most bathrooms that are not accessible are not safe for wheelchair users or people with mobility users. If there are no rails available in the bathroom, you can buy portable rails that you can set up in a particular area. If you need to sit down or support when showering or taking a bath, consider buying a shower chair.

 

There are many apartment hunting websites to help you find an accessible apartment. You can input the type of apartment you are looking for in the search box (ex: disability access). Apartment Guide is a great site to check out.

 

via Apartment Guide

Emma Louie