I would like to tell you my story as a Realtor trying to help a family find a new home. As a Realtor, you normally will find a happy family excited about finding their new home. Now lets add one defining fact....one daughter is in a wheelchair. I have been a real estate agent for almost 17 years. This situation has come up from time to time, but never with a child.
I had never realized until this past month just how difficult it is to maneuver around in many homes. You would think that the newer homes might have some considerations such as a bathroom door wide enough to accommodate a child's wheelchair! Not so! So many floorplans have spacious kitchens, open floor plans, and all the most modern conveniences.....except access to the bathroom.
After working past the steps to the front door or the steps from the garage to the house, you would hope that a little girl could at least have a bathroom that she can get in to. Yes, some bathroom doors can be modified, but many cannot. Hallways cannot. Its bad enough that a family member is not able to go to certain parts of the house ever, such as a second floor or a bonus room over the garage, but she should at least be able to have an accessible bedroom and a hallway bathroom.
My purpose here is to enlighten home builders of the problems associated with tight hallways and bathrooms. Is it possible to consider this part of the population when building a new home? There are over 1.6 million people in wheelchairs and it could be a child, a spouse, a parent or a visitor.
Every one of us could end up relying on a wheelchair for our independence. Could your current home handle this situation? Sadly, many homes can't.
Builders- I realize this would mean making the bathroom a little wider and maybe another room a bit smaller, but could you at least give it some thought?Kim Blanton on