A House for All Children

Chapter 5 - The Ideal Home...in the Right Neighborhood

"In this chapter, parents describe guidelines for buying or building an "ideal" home for a child with a disability. These include general suggestions for house style and layout and specific recommendations for kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, playrooms, garages, climate control and electronic systems and the exterior property. If you are considering a move, some important things to look for in neighbors, the physical features of the town and neighborhood, and the school system are also discussed here. The chapter excerpt below describes some of these recommendations."
- Authors

The "Ideal" House Design

Families identified a wide range of design features for their ideal home. Of course, many of the recommendations depend on the family having the financial resources to make them possible.

The overall style or form of the house is very important. Parents felt that it should be a one-level or a ranch-style home, subdividable into separate areas with distinct play/entertainment spaces. In the early years, young children can be casually but properly supervised while they play and older children can have privacy to be with their friends. Some parents suggested a self-contained apartment for young adults and/or an "au pair" suite for live-in help.

What Makes a Good Neighborhood?

Unless you live a very rural area, your house is part of a neighborhood. This neighborhood, in turn, is part of a larger community. And your neighborhood and surrounding community will most likely have a big impact on you, your child with a disability, and the rest of your family. If your family is facing a move, don't just look at the house, condominium, or apartment. Look at the entire picture-- the dwelling, the property it sits on, the immediate neighborhood, and the town or community. Unfortunately, it is difficult to know in advance exactly what your neighbors will be like. But there are some things you can do before you move to help you get a feel for the neighborhood.


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CENTER FOR ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING SCIENCE RESEARCH
NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
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UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS
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