chapter  1
Accessible housing, quality and design
Pages 32

Disabled people’s consumption of housing continues to be hindered by poor design that inhibits their access into, and ease of mobility around, dwellings. For instance, Mrs B., a client of the British charity Age Concern, recounted a familiar, everyday, tale: ‘poorly designed housing doesn’t merely limit my independence, it makes it impossible . . . I use a wheelchair all the time and cannot manage a step’ (Age Concern, 1995: 1).1 Rookard (1995: 1) recalled a similar situation with her father’s difficulties in using a wheelchair: ‘we are unable to visit my nephew and his wife in their new home due to the layout of their entrance area . . . Are disabled people supposed to sit in their own home all day?’ Likewise, Edward Bannister (2003), a disability advocate who lives in Bolingbrook near Chicago, identified the limitations of design in relation to catering for his mobility impairment: ‘me and my family were living in a town house, my bedroom was on the second floor and it got to the point where I couldn’t get up and down to my bedroom’.2