Re: Feedback requested: Accommodations for disabilities
From: Lisa Kuntz (
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 2020 12:16:53 -0700 (PDT)
Coho Friends,

I initiated this thread and am reading and saving every response.

As an older, disabled woman moving into a cohousing community at age 70, I was 
already keenly aware that universal design is essential. I’ve been surprised to 
learn that some communities that were specifically built to be cohousing have 
serious limitations in this regard!

I appreciate the reminders that some disabilities are physical, some are 
cognitive or emotional. Many of us have invisible disabilities, or both visible 
and invisible  disabilities.  Some of us are glad to be identified and ask for 
and receive help, others prefer to self-manage and be self-sufficient. Some 
have disabilities that will shorten their lives, some are minimally affected.

My preference is to be identified as having limitations in various ways.  I 
have some processing limitations that I don’t expect others to understand or 
appreciate.  So far, I am able to find ways to contribute to my community that 
are compatible with my limitations.

My friends and acquaintances that have various disabilities/limitations tend to 
be creative, resourceful, and transparent (well, transparent with those who are 
compassionate and trustworthy!).

There of many flavors of being disabled. As we age, we sometimes develop 
disabilities that didn’t exist when we were younger. Aging in place and 
universal design naturally flow into the issue of accessibility and 

Keep those replies coming! 

They are helping a lot of communities.

Lisa Kuntz
Daybreak Cohousing
Portland Oregon <>

> On Jul 12, 2020, at 11:48 AM, Allison Tom <allisonrtom [at]> wrote:
> Muriel,
> Disabilities come in every shape and size, so accommodation needs to be as
> diverse as disability is.
> People may come to cohousing with hearing loss, vision loss, severe
> allergies, episodic fatigue, mental health issues, children with a variety
> of challenges (including gnarly adolescence), etc.  With some disabilities
> the accommodation is structural, but with others the accommodation needs to
> be social.
> For example, I have a chronic vestibular (balance) disorder that makes me
> chronically fatigued and nauseated.  I think it took COVID and everyone's
> need to attend meetings by zoom for my forming community to really get the
> barriers I face in attending far-flung, long, chaotic meetings.  It's
> bittersweet to "suddenly" be able to participate in so many things I hadn't
> been able to attend previously.
> No accommodation will make a community accessible to every disabled person,
> but listening to the issue we raise as barriers can make a huge difference.
> Allison
> On Sun, Jul 12, 2020 at 11:31 AM Muriel Kranowski <murielk [at]> wrote:
>> Allison, could you expand on that?
>> On Sun, Jul 12, 2020 at 2:25 PM Allison Tom <allisonrtom [at]> 
>> wrote:
>>> It's important to remember that physical/architectural accessibly is the
>>> most visible accessibility issue, but there are many other disabilities
>>> that make belonging to a cohousing community both more difficult and more
>>> important to people.
>>> Allison Tom
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