Visitable design facilitates access
The holiday season is upon us – a little different than what we experienced just one year ago. The last quarter of the year contains several observances. The American Thanksgiving is tomorrow (Canada’s was last month). Many people are going to be visiting each other for the first time in many months. As such, it’s a learning experience as well as a time to see each other again.
Next month offers more opportunities for friends and family to gather in celebration of the Christmas and Channukah holidays, the end of the year, and the coming of 2022.
Being able to gather in-person again without restrictions is a great step toward normalcy.
How visitability makes a difference
While we may be comfortable getting in and out of our own homes – even with some challenges we might face such as steps, lack of lighting, and surfaces that don’t provide a good walking surface – can we say that is comfortable for our guests to visit us? Can we honestly say that the entrance to our home provides no significant challenges for a guest we have invited for dinner, a drink, or just to share the holidays with us?
Most of us want people to visit us during the holidays or at other times of the year – for parties, receptions, anniversary or birthday celebrations, holidays, and other fun times. However, we may not be thinking about how challenging it may be for some of our invited or drop-in guests to actually come into our homes and spend time with us.
While we are used to using the walkway, steps, and stoop or porch that leads to our front door – even with various limitations that might be present – some of our guests may not be able to use our entrance as well as we do. This is the principle of visitability – affording everyone the same ease and comfort of approaching and entering our home as well as finding the inside enjoyable also.
Many factors affect visitability
When we have people come to our door, especially those we have invited to spend time with us, it’s important that they do not face any challenges in entering our home. While it’s obviously too late to do it for the current celebration, we need to incorporate visitable design features in and around the entrance to our home.for the events still to come this year and in the future so that people can visit us as easily as possible.
We can’t always know in advance what someone’s abilities are going to be when they arrive at our home and want to enter it so visitable design is a great strategy to use.