Visitability is an international movement to change home construction practices so that virtually all new homes, whether or not designated for residents who currently have mobility impairments, offer three specific accessibility features. Supporters ultimately want to require that all new homes be at least partly accessible to people with mobility impairments.
Newly constructed homes often contain the same major barriers as older, existing homes: steps at every entrance, and narrow interior doors, with the bathroom door usually the narrowest door in the house. Therefore, in the visitability movement, three key features are promoted:
- At least one zero-step entrance on an accessible route leading from a driveway or public sidewalk,
- All interior doors providing at least 31 3⁄4 inches (81 cm) of unobstructed passage space and
- At least a half bathroom on the main floor
If a goal is residents' remaining in the home if mobility impairment occurs, two additional basics are necessary: a full bathroom on the main floor, and a bedroom or space that could be converted to a bedroom.
Visitability is similar to Universal Design in general intention, but is more focused in scope, more specific in parameters, and more explicitly grounded in a social reform intent.
Visitability features make homes easier for people who develop a mobility impairment to visit friends and extended family rather than having to turn down invitations, or not be invited at all. These features also provide a basic shell of access to permit formerly non-disabled people to remain in their homes if they develop a disability, rather than forcing them to do expensive renovations, relocate to a different house, live in an inaccessible home which endangers their health and safety, or move from the community into a nursing home.
Other articles related to "visitability":
... Because not all locations use the term “visitability” in their efforts, it is difficult to definitively track the adoption of visitability across the country ... the research include the lack of an organization assigned to monitor visitability ordinances, and ordinances and laws that often do not specify the agency responsible for implementation ... In the United States, successful Visitability legislation has been passed in many localities, including Atlanta, Georgia Pima County, Arizona Bolingbrook ...