Thesis input request - Disabled in Cohousing
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Sat, 10 May 2003 07:22:01 -0600 (MDT)
Kristin Becker <kbecker [at]>
is the author of the message below. 
It was posted by Fred the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]> 
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Hello all,

I am a student at the University of Arizona in Tucson and am doing my
thesis next year on designing a cohousing community for people with
developmental disabilities to live with abled people in a same
environment.  For people with disabilities, it would provide a social
structure for them to live within as well as a safe place where people
know their names and somewhat watch out for them.  Unfortunately, in
today's society, most people with disabilities have one of three options. 
First is live "at home" with their guardian which doesn't provide much
independence, two, live in a group home where you tend to be isolated from
the abled world and often learn to depend more on the caretaker than
needed and thereby also losing independence.  The final option is to find
VERY cheap rent somewhere if able to take care of oneself, but this
usually ends up being in poor and unsafe neighborhoods where vulnerable
people such as those with disabilities could be easily taken advantage of
or at the very least ignored and probably made fun of. 

For those without disabilities living in a community such as this would
provide all the typical advantages cohousing brings with the added bonus
of knowing some very wonderful and caring people who are so trusting of
others they may otherwise put themselv es in danger.  In addition, it
provides a place for abled people, particularly children to learn to be
open minded and not "scared off" by people that may look or talk
differently or are simply slower due to a lower IQ than most. 

In short, I am looking for research on any communities that may exist,
here in the United States or elsewhere that may be either already
developed with this idea or even any that currently house people with
developmental disabilities - be it children or adults.  If you want more
information on this or if you know of any of these communities, your help
would be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you very much for your time, thoughts, and consideration!

Kristin Becker 

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