Home modifications (also known as Environmental Accessibility Adaptations) are required in order to make existing homes more physically accessible. In addition to supporting independent living, home modifications reduce the likelihood of accidents that may lead to further disability.
Stairs; narrow doorways, hallways and bathrooms; and standard bathtubs are just a few of the physical obstacles that must be navigated by people with mobility or visual impairments.
Temporary or permanent ramps can replace stairs in locations where there are relatively few stairs, and stair lifts can be used by some people with mobility impairments to navigate one or more flights of stairs. Doorways and hallway scan be widened in some cases, bathrooms can be made large enough for a wheelchair user to close the door when in use, and standard bathtubs can be replaced with either curb-free (also known as wheel-in) showers or walk-in bathtubs, depending on the needs of the individual.
The cost of home modifications varies depending on the type and degree of mobility or visual impairment experienced by an individual. Some people with only moderate mobility impairments may only require a home without stairs whereas full-time wheelchair users will likely need all regularly used spaces (e.g., bathroom, kitchen, laundry) modified to be accessible.
There are no federal programs that fund home modifications for people with disabilities under age 62*; however, some state-funded programs exist. Because they differ from state to state (and some may differ from county to county), we urge you to check with your state’s Department of Disabilities and your state’s Center(s)for Independent Living (CIL) to see if such a program exists in your area.
March is Women's History Month, a time to celebrate the contributions of women throughout history and recognize the challenges they have overcome to achieve equality. This month is a time to reflect on the intersectional experiences of women, including those with disabilities. Women with disabilities have been at the forefront of the fight for disability rights and have significantly contributed to society.