Kudos to Austin City Council for assuring a more “visitable” Austin

Despite the fact that my word processor’s spell check doesn’t know the word visitable, it is indeed a word that has come into use in our modern day, although admittedly not yet common to our vernacular.

Visitability is a concept that has grown out of the disability rights movement, and is about basic access for everyone. The term was coined in Europe, and later adopted for use stateside by Georgia’s Eleanor Smith, founder of Concrete Change. It is most broadly defined by homes meeting the following three basic requirements:

  • at least one zero-step entrance,
  • doors with 32 inches of clear passage space, and
  • at least one bathroom (or half bath) on the ground floor that’s wheelchair accessible.

Austin City Council recently passed a new visitability ordinance for new residential construction (single family houses and duplexes).  See the report at KUT.org for more information on the Austin ordinance.

Home is the place where you are most thoroughly yourself, with no pretenses.
- Victoria Moran