Toledo passes 'visitability' ordinance
Toledo has become the first city in Ohio to require that all new one, two and three-family homes built with public funds contain three elements to ensure that they're livable -- for everyone:
- One no-step entrance;
- 32-inch doorways and 36-inch hallways;
- a wheelchair-accessible bathroom on the main floor.
These three simple features are the hallmarks of visitability, a movement that is gaining momentum nationwide.
The Toledo ordinance also requires new homes to have wall outlets "at least 15 inches above the finished floor"; light switches no higher than 48 inches above the floor; and reinforcement added behind bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars.
The Ability Center of Greater Toledo, an independent living center, was instrumental in getting the local ordinance to a vote, where it passed unanimously.
"We are extremely pleased by Council's passage of this landmark ordinance," said Ability Center director Tim Harrington when the bill passed the city council last month. "The ordinance eliminates architectural barriers that isolate persons with disabilities, seniors and others with mobility impairments. It will promote inclusion throughout the community buy allowing those individuals to freely visit and socialize with family and friends. It also gives Toledo recognition as a prominent, proactive leader in Ohio regarding accessibility.
Read Ability Center press release
View the actual language of the city ordinance at the Concrete Change website.