Online Program

Is there really no place like home? an exploratory study of the impact of non-visitable homes on wheelchair users

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

D.E. Nary, PhD, Research and Training Center on Independent Living, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Inaccessible homes of family and friends present barriers that limit social circles, and reduce both community participation and social support for people with mobility-related disabilities, particularly wheelchair-users. Although Disability and Health objectives in Healthy People 2020 address removing barriers to community participation and increasing the number of “visitable” homes, the effect of home barriers on wheelchair users has not been systematically explored in the literature. This presentation will share data from interviews with 16 wheelchair users aged 22-65 years regarding barriers encountered in visiting others' homes. The study employed a phenomenological approach to understanding this experience, discovering how wheelchair users interpret their experiences and distilling the essence of their experiences. Major themes drawn from the data are: (a) feelings of exclusion and isolation; (b) diminished personal relationships and social opportunities; (c) inability to reciprocate social/tangible support; and (d) tension experienced in attempting to discuss home barriers with family and friends. These themes will be presented from the perspective of health disparities experienced by this population. The presentation will share participants' recommendations of ways to reduce home barriers, as well as the limits of barrier reduction. Additionally, use of these data to support visitability policy initiatives (i.e., ordinances or incentives requiring that newly built single family homes have accessible features) as a potential solution to the problem of home barriers will be discussed.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the effect of non-visitable homes on the community participation and social relationships of people with mobility-related disabilities Explain the difficulties that people with mobility-related disabilities face in discussing home barriers with family members and friends Identify ways that homeowners can remove barriers to make their homes more visitable Discuss policies that can address this problem

Keyword(s): Disability Policy, Community Participation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The data to be presented was collected under a fellowship I received from NIDRR. I worked in the field of disablity rights for nine years, and have been involved in disability research, particularly regarding health disparities and health promotion, for the last 16 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.