Call for entries for awards of excellence in “visitable housing”

The Awards of Excellence in VisitAble Housing are being launched as part of the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies’ (CCDS) VisitAbility Project. The Awards of Excellence will highlight and celebrate VisitAble Housing in Canada. The Awards are a one-time program and national in scope. All entries must be received by 11:59pm (Central Time, Manitoba) on February 28, 2015.

“VisitAble Housing” or “VisitAbility” is the concept of designing and building homes with basic accessibility. VisitAble homes provide easy access on the main level for everyone. VisitAble housing offers a convenient home for residents and a welcoming environment for all visitors.

VisitAble homes have three basic accessibility features:

1. No-step entrance (at the front, back or side of the house)

2. Wider doorways and clear passage on the main floor

3. A main floor bathroom (or powder room) that can be accessed by visitors who use mobility devices.

Eligible housing projects must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Incorporate all three VisitAbility features;
  • Built, renovated, developed, and/or created between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2014;
  • Be located in Canada;
  • Be in compliance with local building regulations at the time the project was built.

Anyone (e.g., architects, builders, developers, owners, general citizens) may submit entries regardless of their direct involvement in the project. Those submitting entries must have permission from the project owner at the time of submission. Multiple entries are accepted.

Entry Process

Full information about the Awards can be found on the following link: http://visitablehousingcanada.com/visitability-awards-excellence/

To proceed to the entry form, please click on the following link: http://visitablehousingcanada.com/visitability-awards-entry-form/

The Canadian Centre on Disability Studies (CCDS) is working on a project called “Collaborative Knowledge Building and Action for VisitAble Housing in Canadian Cities”. This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program — Disability Component.

VisitAbility is “a movement to change home construction practices so that virtually all new homes — not merely those custom-built for occupants who currently have disabilities — offer a few specific features making the home easier for mobility-impaired people to live in and visit” (Concrete Change, 2012).

This project intends to promote VisitAble Housing for all Canadians, including persons with disabilities and seniors, as well as their friends and family. The project team is working with task forces who assist in carrying out the work of the project in six communities across Canada. The task forces are located in a First Nations community on Vancouver Island; Richmond, BC; Edmonton, AB; Winnipeg, MB; Ottawa, ON; and Kitchener-Waterloo, ON.

More information about the project is available at http://www.visitablehousingcanada.com/

A Facebook page has also been created to support the project’s work, and can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/visitablehousingcanada

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