Special Section:
Designed for Dignity

A small wing wall helps provide some enclosure to the new open-plan roll-in shower.
Reprinted from PN August 2000

The following articles (1) describe two custom projects that made life easier for homeowners and (2) highlight how a major metropolitan area's laws mandate fair housing.

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Small But Successful
by Thomas D. Davies Jr., A.I.A.

With care, diligence, and imagination, a balance can usually be struck that provides accessibility, function, and aestheticsall within a limited scope-of-work. The following examples are successful small residential accessibility projects.

Entry Porch

The parents and their child with a developmental disability live in a one-and-a-half-story contemporary home at the end of a long paved drive. When the couple's daughter was young, her father carried her up and down the front steps between the main-level entry and a vehicular drop-off point located along the driveway. As their daughter grew older, however, carrying her back and forth became increasingly difficult.

The selected entrance solution was to construct a new entry porch with a short wood ramp and also to relocate the driveway drop-off to a location farther uphill. This small project gives these homeowners the necessary accessibility, improves the home's overall function, and enhances the existing front facadeall within the constraints of a limited budget and scope-of-work.

An Accessible Bathroom

[In another case], a homeowner has a progressive medical condition that will probably result in wheelchair use in the near future. In anticipation of these medical changes, he decided to make a small existing master bath more accessible for his future needs.

The design compromises were discussed and agreed to in advance. In practice, the imaginative new design works welland adherence to the strict scope limitations kept the cost within the owners? means.

Thomas Davies Jr. is senior associate director, Architecture, at the Paralyzed Veterans of America National Office, in Washington, D.C.

Contact: (800) 424-8200 / (202) 872-1300.

Wake-up Call
by John P. Herrion

New York City's (NYC's) laws take the requirement to provide reasonable accommodations one step further: Housing providers must pay and provide for accommodations that are reasonable and do not create undue hardship.

John P. Herrion is assistant program counsel, EPVA Legal Affairs. Contact: (718) 803-3782 / 803-0414 (fax) /


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