What Features Should A Disability Accessible Apartment Have?

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For those with disabilities, it can be difficult to find an apartment in which they can live and move around comfortably and without impedance. Newer apartment buildings tend to be built to a code that enables the disabled to move more freely and provide more accessibility in common areas and elevators. Older buildings, too, can be renovated to help improve accessibility for disabled tenants, but they might be harder to find.

What features should a disability accessible apartment have? Here are just a few features.

Wider Entryways, Elevators, And Hallways

A disability accessible apartment will have wider entryways into the building than a typical apartment building will. The doorways are wide enough to accommodate walkers, mobility scooters, and wheelchairs easily with some clearance on either side of the entryway so nothing hits or scapes against it. Often, the entryways are wide enough so that a wheelchair can turn around easily if needed.

Hallways are typically wider, as well, to accommodate wheelchairs or other mobility equipment. They are wide enough for both a wheelchair and a walking person to pass each other. They are also usually wide enough to turn a wheelchair around as well.

Elevators also have wider openings as well as they tend to have buttons that are within reach of someone in a wheelchair.

Accessible Kitchens And Bathrooms

Bathrooms and kitchens in a disability accessible apartment have features that can be easily used and reached for a person with balance problems, and who need a walker or for those in a wheelchair and may not be able to reach a traditional appliance to operate it.

In this vein, bathroom and kitchen sinks are situated lower with space underneath for a wheelchair or scooter to fit comfortably under. This helps a disabled person reach to turn on the sink to wash dishes or hands as needed.

Cabinets will be placed lower for easy access. Some kitchens don't have as many floor level cabinets in order to accommodate a wheelchair to pull right up to the counter in order to cook or prep food. Countertops will also be at a lower level for a better reach. Appliances' buttons will be placed along the front of the stove and door handles are easier to operate as well.

Bathroom doors will be wider than typical doorways and will usually open outwards to provide more space inside. Bathrooms are larger to accommodate a wheelchair and the walls should be reinforced with a grab bar beside the toilet. Showers may have a sit-down option so there is no need to stand while showering, or they could provide a step-in option instead of a tub.

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