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The Accessible Virtual Campus

Residential Housing

Illustration of a student dorm represents student housing section of virtual campus.

A dormitory is a community with a wealth of accessibility concerns, including but not limited to rooms, food service, assembly areas, and safety. Many resources related to housing have useful information to apply to building accessible residence halls. Builders and designers may look to go beyond the ADAAG standards, which provide minimum quidelines for accessible environments.

In addition to consideration of the built environment forms, posters, announcements, etc. all need to be universally designed.  See Instructional Methods and Media & Materials pages for tips.

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Electronic Information Kiosk AUDIT

Use this AUDIT to determine how universally designed a kiosk is. This three part audit assesses accessibility, usability, and score.

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

Electronic Information Kiosk AUDIT  (Excel Document)

Electronic Information Kiosk Manual  (PDF File)

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Elevator AUDIT

Elevators are comprised of multiple features that must be considered for full accessibility. Use this AUDIT to determine how successful your elevators are at providing access and usability for all students, staff and faculty.

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

Elevator AUDIT  (Excel Document)

Elevator AUDIT Version 1-2 Manual  (PDF File)

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Service Contract Tips

This document contains tips for "contracting for services that work for everyone including people with disabilities". Check these tips to insure accessibility before contracting for services.

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

Service Contract Tips  (Word Document)

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Accessibility Requirements for Buildings

This article by the U.S. Department of Housing provides information on the housing accessibility requirements for both private and federally assisted housing.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

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Accessibility Upgrades for Toilets

Raising the height and providing grab bars are just two of many things you can do to make toilets easier for everyone to use. This web page article offers things to be aware of.

AARP

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Accessible Design/Universal Design Resources

This website contains many links on Universal Design. The website also contains seven principles of universal design and guidelines.

Lubin, J

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Accessible Desks and Furniture

This webpage provides a list of desks and tables that follow ADA guidelines and meet accessibility standards. This page is provided to supply information and examples of universally designed furniture for buyers.

Accessible Environments, Inc.

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Accessible Solutions from Bob Vila

This website page includes accessibility concerns from the work of Bob Vila (This Old House TV show). Many accessibility topics have "how to" videos.

Bob Vila

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Adaptive Architecture

The Adaptive Architecture company provides a full spectrum of architectural and consulting services, while specializing in custom homes and universal design (accessible and barrier free environments for the disabled). The website contains accessibility projects, services, and other information about the company.

Adaptive Architecture

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Apartment Accessibility

This webpage includes an "AT Quick Reference" guide to help individuals adapt their apartment to become more accessible. There are also answers to frequently asked questions regarding tenant life, which range from ADA accommodations to easy modifications to make.

Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA)

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Automatic Door Blooper

This short video demonstrates a poor application of automatic door accessibility considerations. The placement of operating buttons may fall within the minimal ADAAG standard, but is it really accessible? A service dog cannot "nose" the button to open the door. If a dog uses a paw to attempt to operate the button his nails scrape on the background surface (which in this case is metal), leading to scrape marks. How will a person with musculo-skeletal fare with this button?

R2D2 Center at UW-Milwaukee

Automatic Door Blooper  YouTube Video

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Bathroom Accommodations

This webpage includes an "AT Quick Reference" guide to help individuals adapt their bathrooms to be more accessible. This webpage answers frequently asked questions regarding the best ways to adapt the bathroom.

Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA)

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Bedroom Accommodations

This webpage includes an "AT Quick Reference" guide to help individuals make accommodations to their bedroom and adapt their apartment to become more accessible. There are also answers to frequently asked questions regarding bedroom accommodations.

Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA)

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Campus Housing: A Case Study on Accomodating a Short-term Need

This link contains a case study on a male student with a mental health disability. The case study explains accessibility issues.

Washington University, DO-IT

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Center for Housing and New Community Economics (CHANCE)

This website features the Center for Housing and New Community Economics (CHANCE), established through the University of New Hampshire, Institute on Disabilities in March of 2001, to improve and increase access to integrated and affordable housing coordinated with personal assistance and supportive services for people with disabilities.

Center for Housing and New Community Economics

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Concrete Change

The focus of Concrete Change is new homes. The goal is to make all homes visitable; to design homes so anyone at the party, meeting, or family reunion is involved and not isolated. The emphasis from a long list of access features is on the most essential construction changes.

Concrete Change

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Creating Stepless Entrances in Multifamily Housing: Tech Sheet

This four page guide illustrates five different site entrance solutions that can be adapted to a variety of housing types and site conditions. The tech sheet contains descriptions of design concepts as well as pictures and diagrams of accessible housing entrances.

Center for Universal Design- NC State University

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Directory of Professionals with Home Building Designation

This directory provides a thorough list of Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) or Certified Active Adult Specialist in Housing (CAASH) professionals in Milwaukee and the surrounding area. Consumers can search the National Association of Home Builders website for certified professionals in each state. The directory is updated often.

National Association of Home Builders

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Equal Access: Universal Design of Housing and Residential Life

This 6 page resource discusses universal design of housing and residential life for students with disabilities living on and around campus. College and university housing facilities and services are important elements of a college education for many students. This publication is a resource for campus housing and residential life staff and identifies key areas of concern, offers general guidance, and provides resources regard­ing disability access issues.

DO-IT, Washington University

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Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST

"Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST is an initiative designed to promote compliance with the Fair Housing Act design and construction requirements. This USHUD program offers comprehensive and detailed instruction programs, useful online web resources, and a toll-free information line for technical guidance and support".

Fair Housing Accessibility First

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Great Places

The website for the company, Great Places, contains 1) In-depth information about the different housing options and care facilities for older adults, including costs and types of care; 2) Video interviews with residents; 3) The latest news about medical innovations and unique senior living for children of aging parents; and 4) A series of “field manuals” to talk with parents about future housing options, insurance choices, and legal matters.

Great Places, Inc.

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Handy Ramps

Handy Ramps is an article describing modular steps and ramps that are easy to build and portable, therefore, they can be built off-site and moved if they are only needed temporarily. The article gives general instructions on how to build the modular ramps/steps, how many people and what skills are needed to build it, and includes a link for individuals to buy the full instructions.

Kathleen Childers and Charles Wardell

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Home Accessibility Checklist

This website provides a checklist for home safety and accessibility features that is organized by room (bedroom, kitchen, etc).

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Home Features and Products Using Universal Design

This web page article offers basics of building homes for the accessibility, safety, comfort and convenience of everyone.

AARP

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Home Modifications and Products for Safety and Ease of Use

This 21 page article explains how the home environment can be a barrier as a person ages or acquires a disability. Mild to moderate disabilities are discussed with recommendations for basic modifications and products.

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Home Remodeling for Disability and Special Needs: What You Need to Know

This resource aims to help make the federal grants available to seniors, veterans, and disabled people easier to understand and take advantage of, particularly for remodeling homes for accessibility.

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How to build RAMPS for home accessibility

This is an index to a 66 page document on how to build ramps for home accessibility. This approach builds on the strengths of the community, involves volunteers, ensures quality and safety, and can be adapted to an individual's situation. One of the most notable characteristics of the design is the modular system which allows the ramp to be reused time and again. The ramp design presented in this manual is an effective, low-cost solution to meet the access needs of persons with disabilities.

Metropolitan Center for Independent Living

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Legal Issues Surrounding Housing and Residential Life

This article by Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D. addresses the ADA legal issues surrounding both college housing along with typical residential life. Burgstahler addresses key areas of concern, offers general guidance, and provides resources regarding disability access issues.

DO-IT, Washington University

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NAHB and AARP Honor Builders for Universal Design

This brief article highlights home builders that have been honored for incorporating universal design into their projects. It discussed how the winners of the NAHB’s and AARP’s Livable Communities Awards judged builders and remodelers on their ability to consider universal design for all ages and abilities as well as address comfort, safety, and aesthetic appeal.

Curry, P.

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Recycling for all: Preliminary criteria for the design of disability-friendly receptacles

This 6 page article discusses the problems with current waste bins in regards to accessibility for all people. The article also provides solutions and specific guidelines for a universally designed waste recepticle. It is an interesting article because it addresses something we use everyday but may take for granted; people with disabilities need to access trash and recycling bins, too!

Jensen and Nielsen, Waste Management and Research

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Residential Rehabilitation, Remodeling and Universal Design

This 27 page guide explains general accessibility features every home should include in order to accommodate homeowners with various abilities and needs in the future. The guide includes a list of priority features, select important universal features, and diagrams of how to remodel/build an accessible home inside and out.

The Center for Universal Design, NC State University College of Design

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Residential Remodeling and Universal Design: Making Homes More Comfortable and Accessible

This comprehensive (127 pages) publication (1996) from the USHUD assists homeowners, remodelers and contractors to implement universal design (UD) features into already existing homes. It contains a description of universal design and how to install design features in each room of the home, as well as the exterior. Its appendices offer accessibility standards and other useful references and resources.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

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The Americans with Disabilities Act Checklist for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal

This checklist (1995) will help you identify accessibility problems and solutions in existing facilities in order to meet your obligations under the ADA, however may be outdated with regard to specific updates in the law.

Barrier Free Environments, Inc. and Adaptive Environments Center, Inc.

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Universal Design in Daily Necessities

This website developed by Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture describes daily necessities that are universally designed.

Department of Community Affairs, Shizuoka, Japan

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Universal Design in the Kitchen

This video highlights the features of the kitchen in the CRDA Universal Design Demo home. In it you will find a lot of good ideas for your own home modifications. Pay particular attention to the kitchen sink. Accesssiblity of kitchen componenents

AgeInPlace.com

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Universal Design New York

This is a desktop reference manual which presents common universal design principles from Universal Design New York and offers examples of how to incorporate these ideas into other projects.

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Universal Design of Housing and Residential Life

General considerations and then a comprehensive checklist of considerations to make college and university housing facilities and services accessible for students with disabilities.

Burgstahler, S. DO-IT, University of Washington

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Welcome Home to Accessibility

This article explains how modular stairs and ramps are built to allow easy access in and out of a home for someone with mobility impairments. It discusses how long-tread low-riser steps may be an alternative to a traditional ramp or stairs and that they are relatively easy to build for people with basic carpentry skills so they can be less expensive. It also highlights consumer experiences with modular ramps and steps.

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A lot of people with a disability say, "This is who I am. I don't come here hoping my disability will go away, but because I want to participate."

Carolyn R. Thompson