If a house is inadequate for the needs of the people living in it, it never quite becomes a home. For people with disabilities, a dwelling must be fully accessible to become a home.  Accessible home design will accommodate everyone, including people with disabilities and those facing growing limitations as they age.


Includes features that meet the needs of a person with a disability. Most accessible houses feature open turning spaces within rooms, wheel-in shower stalls and kitchen work surfaces with knee space below.


Includes basic accessibility features that allow most people to visit, even if they have limitations such as impaired mobility. Basic features of a livable house include a level entry, wider doors throughout the entrance level and a washroom on the main floor.


Designed to be adapted economically at a later date to accommodate someone with a disability. Features include removable cupboards in a kitchen or bathroom to create knee space for a wheelchair user, or a knock-out floor panel in a closet to allow installation of an elevator. This approach is also known as FlexHousing™.


Recognizes that everyone who uses a house is different and comes with different abilities that change over time. Features include lever door handles that everyone can use, enhanced lighting levels to make it as easy as possible to see, stairways that feature handrails that are easy to grasp, and easy-to-use appliances.

Smart Home

Term commonly used to define a residence that has appliances, lighting, heating, air conditioning, TVs, computers, entertainment audio & video systems, security, and camera systems that are capable of communicating with one another and can be controlled remotely by a time schedule, as well as remotely from any location in the world by phone or internet. Smart Homes also play a major role in accessibility. Smart Home features such as automatic blinds, computerized door locks, security cameras, and other household operations can be controlled through a single remote or even voice activated. When combined with universal design or accessible housing, Smart Homes make it easier for people with disabilities to live independent lives.