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Life After Paralysis is a blog that represents a variety of paralysis community members. It is a place for open conversation about the issues and the interests of people living with paralysis, their family, friends, caregivers, and the professionals that serve them.
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The opinions expressed in these blogs are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
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We've talked before about my decision to sell my already modified home in order to move closer to the neighborhood where I spend most of my time. That's going to mean renovations to make whatever home I purchase accessible so that I can function independently.
I'm excited and frightened in equal measure. I got some things wrong when I did this house, moving will allow me the opportunity to get those things right. But, what if? What if I can't find an acceptable home to modify or I start and run into unforeseen problems or what if I don't budget properly or I get something painfully wrong? “What if” keeps me up a lot of nights.
If I were simply selling this home and buying any home in my desired neighborhood, that would be stressful. I would have the standard stressors like paint colors and appliance finishes on top of thinking about the roof and the plumbing and the electrical system and the neighbors and… well, I can get ahead of myself.
Now, my worries are about ramps and turning radius and the functional access to appliances. My equity calculations in my sell/buy decision also had to factor in enough money to pay for my functional needs remodeling.
PHOTO: Author and Architect Deborah Pierce, AIA, CAPS
As I've begun to research information for my future move, I found a terrific book written by CAP architect, Deborah Pierce, The Accessible Home. Deb's case studies are very instructional and I found something useful in every room. The photos are beautiful and the functional design makes me drool. Just a quick perusal helped me start thinking about cross-disability design. What if I lose my sight as I age? How does that figure into my mobility considerations?
Whether you're renovating an existing home or building a new home, Deb covers design principles to address functional access today and in the future. She covers weekend projects that can improve accessibility in existing structures and how to design in case you need an elevator in the future.
I tracked Deb down for a conversation and I recorded it to share with you. Deb gets accessibility and usability in her bones. Due to some AD issues, I didn't do her justice in this conversation. I highly recommend her book. I have an ebook version and I flip through it every time I'm out dreaming design for my next home.
Check out the book's Facebook page
for even more useful information.
I'm still months away from beginning my design process. I promise to share that project with you when we get there.
You can visit author and architect Deborah Pierce's website here.
Find information on her book,The Accessible Home: Designing for All Ages and Abilities here