Home Modification and Visitability
The National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification created this definition on the subject: "Home Modification includes major or minor adaptations to the interior or exterior home environments that make it possible for the person living in the home to carry out daily activities more safely and independently. Examples of home modifications could include building a ramp, lowering light switches, or installing non-skid strips on stairs."
From 2002 to 2003, our Center for Health Equity conducted a statewide survey of home modification services in Indiana. We wrote about our findings in this Home Modification Report, which we think is still relevant reading today.
If you'd like to find out more about Home Modification, here are a few links we recommend on our Resources page.
- The Center for Housing and New Community Economics (CHANCE) - CHANCE's mission is to improve and increase access to integrated, affordable, and accessible housing coordinated with, but separate from, personal assistance and supportive services. The site lists publications, which can be downloaded; an overview of the Section 8 Homeownership Program, information on policy issues, and the complete Home of Your Own Guide.
- National Resource Center On Supportive Housing and Home Modification - This center is a university-based, non-profit organization that promotes aging in place and independent living for persons of all ages and abilities. The site offers the most recent newsletter, listing of published research and other publication, and offers online courses.
- The Center for Universal Design - The Center for Universal Design is a national research, information, and technical assistance center. You’ll find information on universal design, home modification and how to purchase publications.
Visitability is distinct from Home Modification because while the modifications to the home make it a friendly place for people of all abilities to visit, the additions are not necessary, yet, for the people living in the home. A visitable house will have basic access features,such as an entrance without steps and wider doorways, making the home hospitable to friends and family with disabilities. A visitable homealso makes it easy to age in place!
Our Center collaborated with theCenter for Planning and Policy Studies (CPPS), a sister Center at the Indiana Institute, to define and promote Visitability. Together, we developed a brochure to introduce people to Visitability and made presentations about the concept.Learn more aboutVisitability from our friends at CPPS!