Home usability is about ensuring that people with disabilities are living in homes that meet their needs and desires.
Imagine a home where you can come and go as you wish. A home where you have the ability to dress, eat, and bathe independently. A home where you feel safe, secure, and at ease. A home where you can host and entertain friends and family. A home where you have access to the things you need and control over your life. A home where you belong!
The description above describes a usable home. A usable home is a home where you are in control and have choice.
Home Usability Problems
Most houses and apartments in the United States were not built with the needs of people with disabilities in mind. This is evident in different aspects of housing and apartment design.
Steps at the front entrance of a house or apartment are one example. Steps can be difficult for a person with a mobility disability to manage. This can make entering and exiting the home difficult and maybe even impossible without assistance.
Another example is the design of door handles. Door handles that are round knobs can be difficult for a person with limited dexterity to grab and turn, making it difficult for an individual to come and go as he or she wishes.
These are just a couple examples of how home design can limit a person’s independence. Problems like these are considered home usability problems. They are unique to a person’s abilities, needs, and home environment.
This website is a guide to identifying both home usability problems and potential solutions. Within this website you will find information to:
- Help you identify any home usability problems you may have
- Help you set SMART home usability goals
- Help you identify community resources to achieve your home usability goals
There are a couple ways to use this website. For the most benefit, we recommend using this website in conjunction with your local Center for Independent Living and Home Usability Network. However, you may also wish to use this website as a reference for making your own home usability improvements. More information about identifying usability problems in your home, and working with the Center for Independent Living (CIL) and the Home Usability Network (HUN) to address your home usability needs can be found by following the links below.