Things To Consider When Choosing A Disabled-Access Apartment

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Hunting for an apartment is never an easy process. It can be overwhelming for some, but when you have special needs for your living arrangements, it can be even more difficult. For example, if you need an apartment designed for those with disabilities, the apartment-hunting process requires a careful approach. If you have never looked for a disability-friendly apartment in the past, you may not know what to look for. Here are some things to consider while you're looking at your apartment rental options.

Typical Disability-Friendly Apartment Features

The first thing you need to know is what you should expect for typical features in a disabled-access apartment. Knowing these features will help you to rule out the apartments that don't measure up to the basics.

For example, disabled-access apartments should have wider doorways and hallways. This is important for you to be able to navigate these passages in a wheelchair if necessary. Additionally, most disability-friendly apartments are single-story units because stairways are often difficult for those with disabilities to navigate. Door handles should be easy to operate as well, and the entire unit should be free of steps and changes in floor elevation.

Things To Ask About When Inquiring About Disability-Friendly Apartments

Since getting around can be difficult when you have a disability, you'll probably want to call a few apartment complexes before you start trying to visit them. This way, you can rule out any that don't fit your needs and focus only on visiting those that will give you what you need. 

When you call, there are a few standard questions that you should ask. You'll want to confirm that the unit is all a single story and that there are ramps to access the building from outside and within. You should also ask for the specific measurements of the hallways and doorways to be sure that they are suitable for your needs.

Inquire about the height of the counters, appliances, light switches, and doorknobs as well. This is particularly important if you are in a wheelchair or if you are limited in mobility and can't lean or stretch without suffering injury.

In addition to these standard questions, you'll also want to ask about anything that specifically applies to your needs. For example, if you are hard of hearing, you'll want an apartment that includes lighting alerts for audible sounds. Similarly, if you are blind, you'll want to have a unit that's designed for easy navigation, braille-supported, and designed with audible prompts for all of your needs.