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Visitability Advocates Score Two Victories In One
February 13, 2002
NAPERVILLE, ILLINOIS & PIMA COUNTY, ARIZONA--Last Tuesday, two communities in different parts of the United States became the first to require all new homes be built to specific accessibility standards.
The new laws, in Naperville, Illinois and Pima County, Arizona, are victories for disability rights advocates who have been pushing for "visibility" standards for at least the past 15 years. The goal of this movement is to make sure people with disabilities can freely visit their neighbors, or move into a home without having to make significant changes.
The new standards require an entrance with no steps, ground-floor hallways and doorways wide enough for wheelchairs, and a ground-floor bathroom large enough for a wheelchair to enter and turn around.
Several cities, including Chicago, Atlanta, and Austin, Texas, already had similar laws, but those only applied to housing built with public money. The new ordinances in Naperville and Pima County are the first to apply all new housing, including privately built homes.
Local builders are complaining that the new standards would make new
homes too expensive, according to this item from the Fox News Channel:
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