Hello! Welcome to the Home Usability Network.

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The Problem: Many people with disabilities throughout the U.S. are living in homes that are not usable. For example, some people may not be able to freely enter or exit their home, prepare food in their kitchen, or even safely use their bathroom. These problems can significantly impact their quality of life, limit their ability to work, exclude them from the community, and even put them at risk of injury.

The Cause: Usability problems, like those described above, can be caused by a number of different issues. Some may arise from physical difficulties such as steps or lack of grab bars while others may be due to communication barriers or issues with roommates or landlords. Each usability problem is unique to each person and requires customized solutions.

The Goal: Creating homes where people feel safe, at ease, and have access, control, and choice over their lives is essential. In some cases this may involve physical modifications such as ramps or widened doors. Other people may require the use of assistive technology such as text-to-speech screen readers or skills and self-advocacy training.

The Home Usability Network: Change can be tough. Making peoples’ homes more usable requires the effort of a community. The Home Usability Network (HUN) is a coalition of local individuals and organizations who are helping people with disabilities improve their homes, and in turn, their communities. The HUN works with people to identify usability problems, develop solutions, and implement innovative strategies that address their needs. The HUN is operated through local Centers for Independent Living.

Centers for Independent Living: Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are community-based, non-profit organizations that are designed and operated by people with disabilities. CILs often have a diverse staff that provide a range of services such as peer support, information and referral, individual and systems advocacy, independent living skills training, and transition services.

Who are we?: This project is a partnership between the University of Montana, University of Kansas, local CILs, community members, and self-advocates.

What you can do: A critical component to the success of the HUN is community support. Whether you are a person with a disability, a business owner, a skilled trades worker, a public official, a disability advocate, an occupational therapist, or an interested civic-minded citizen you can join the HUN. As a valuable member of the HUN you may be asked to contribute your time and expertise, supply materials and other resources, find and secure funding, donate funding yourself, and most importantly, show support and spread the word about growing the HUN. While not every problem will demand your active engagement, you will be expected to respond to emails, phone calls, and potentially attend occasional meetings. Becoming involved with the HUN is as much a commitment as it is a statement that you care about your community. By joining the HUN you are joining an alliance focused on improving the homes and lives of people with disabilities.

Joining the HUN: If you are interested in becoming a member of the HUN please contact your local CIL by clicking on your community below to access their website or call the phone number listed. Be sure to mention that you are interested in learning more about the Home Usability Network.

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Feel free the browse this website to learn more about the Home Usability Network!

Here are some pages you may find helpful:
Home Usability Network Overview
What Is a Home Usability Network?
Who Is in the Home Usability Network?
Outreach to Potential Members (Recruitment Process and Expectations)
Working with the HUN
Who Are We?

You can also contact Lillie Greiman for more information.

Lillie – (406) 243-6102,  Lillie.greiman@umontana.edu