Re: Feedback requested: Accommodations for disabilities
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Sat, 11 Jul 2020 07:38:24 -0700 (PDT)
We planned that all homes would be "visitable"--which essentially
means first floor accessible bathrooms and access to the front door.
Then stuff went awry in construction and many homes you can't even get
into with a walker or wheel chair. Also some of the accessible
bathrooms aren't "quite" accessible.

We made our common house accessible. And then stuck the music room and
exercise space in the basement without access.

So now after 10 years we are looking at a new building for
accessibility. And still need to think through ramps to all the homes.

Access to parking--people have to leave their carts, chairs, walkers
in the parking lot where there car just was, so they have them to get
back to their house when they return. That doesn't feel okay to me.

Mosaic Commons Cohousing, Berlin, MA

On Sat, Jul 11, 2020 at 10:20 AM Lisa Kuntz <lisa.kuntz [at]> wrote:
> Thanks, Alan, I was hoping you would reply!
> I always appreciate your responses.
> Silver Sage has fewer accommodations and a more challenging set up than 
> Daybreak here in Portland.
> I’m surprised that more accessibility wasn’t built into a community for 
> seniors.
> After meeting with Alicia DeLashmutt of “Our Home” in Portland, we were 
> introduced to some helpful, inclusive language in alignment with your 
> question, Why not just ask?
> Nothing about me without me. When discussing accessibility, everyone should 
> have a place at the table.
> Beyond the law and ADA requirements: How can we include everyone so that we 
> are able to enjoy being together in a variety of activities? Inclusiveness in 
> coho is about intention to be inclusive, not about making accommodations 
> because they are required ADA by law. Together, how can we help everyone be 
> together in as many ways as possible?
> Later, I’ll add to the discussion by sharing some of the accommodations we 
> have made at Daybreak, a multigenerational community that was built in 2010.
> Lisa Kuntz
> Daybreak Cohousing
> Portland, Oregon
> <>
> > On Jul 11, 2020, at 5:29 AM, Alan O'Hashi via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] 
> >> wrote:
> >
> > In my view, accessibility and cohousing are inherently incompatible. Where 
> > I live in Boulder, Colorado is all people over 60. The place was designed 
> > with universal accessibility in mind but not total accessibility. Cohousing 
> > by definition isn't exactly convenient for old people like me. The idea is 
> > to design the flow so neighbors bump into each other. At my place, the 
> > parking is on the other side of the courtyard. The only ways to get there 
> > are trodding narrow sidewalks that wind around to the parking spaces and 
> > garages. Some garages are across the alley. During the winter, 
> > particularly, walking isn't exactly the safest, even after the snow 
> > shoveling contractor gets done.
> >
> > A person doesn't really know what it's like to be unable to get around in a 
> > wheel chair or walker, until having experienced that, which I did for 
> > several months when I was recovering from being really sick. I found that 
> > it was pretty much impossible to get into the common house on my own since 
> > the doors were manual, and had those threshold bumps to navigate. It was 
> > less of a hassle to wheel myself all the way around the perimeter to get to 
> > the front of the building than to enter the common house from the route 
> > closest to my back door. To get to the parking, wheel chairs have to travel 
> > over the circuitous sidewalks to the handicap parking spot. Why isn't there 
> > a straight shot to the handicap parking, in addition to the curvy sidewalks?
> >
> > When I became more ambulatory and got around in a walker, then a cane, the 
> > community has a long sidewalk connecting one end to the other, the end that 
> > had a short flight of steps, had no hand rails, but does now when my 
> > upstairs neighbor who was late 80s, God rest her soul, couldn't negotiate 
> > the steps. Why are steps there in the first place?
> >
> > My suggestion? Rather than guessing, ask a person who can't get around 
> > without wheel chair or can't see very well about the best/practical ways to 
> > be accessible.
> >
> > Thx
> > Alan O.
> >
> > Alan O'Hashi
> > Get Up Off the Couch
> >
> > www.getupoffthecouch.comCO: 303-910-5782 ....WY: 307-316-2113 ..NE: 
> > 402-327-1652 ....
> > _________________________________________________________________
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> >
> >
> >
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(The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries

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