The Home Usability Network (HUN) is a coalition of local individuals and organizations that are working together to help make people’s homes more usable. This network is made up of diverse groups like Fair Housing Organizations, state assistive technology programs, or aging services. It also has other professionals like contractors, occupational therapists, or businesses that are identified by the Centers for Independent Living (CIL) staff and consumer advocates who work to help make homes more usable. The HUN is an alliance of resource providers that you can tap into to address your own usability issues.
How it Works
First, you should think about your home and how well it suits your needs. You can do this by going to the “How usable is my home?” section to answer a few questions. This will help you identify problems you may be having and get you started thinking about potential solutions.
Once you have a general idea of your home usability issues and what you would like to improve you should contact the HUN. The HUN operates through your local CIL which has worked hard to pull together a network you can use to address your specific usability needs.
Depending on your needs and abilities, it may be a good idea to attend an Independent Living training course offered through your local CIL. You will learn about self-advocacy skills that will help you not only improve your home, but your overall independence and quality of living.
The CIL staff will work with you to further identify and address your specific issues, develop solutions, create a plan for achieving your goals, and connect you with people and resources to help you improve your home. This will likely involve an in-home meeting (if you choose), creating a Home Usability Plan, and designating tasks and deadlines to help keep everyone on track.
It is a good idea to set SMART goals when thinking about your home usability issues to help guide your Home Usability Plan and overall vision. These should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Improving your home may require ongoing work even after you have implemented changes or modifications. Continue to evaluate your home’s usability to ensure that your home environment is meeting your goals and expectations. Think about what else you might be able to improve using your new network of resources.
The HUN is a resource that can help, but ultimately you are in control and it is your choice to make improvements to your home. Your enthusiasm, determination, and effort are central to making your home usable and achieving the goals that you set for yourself.
If you are interested in getting some help finding solutions to your home usability problems contact your local CIL and ask about the Home Usability Network. A specialist at the CIL will talk with you about usability issues in your home and can even set up a time to meet with you in your home to discuss the issues you have identified.