Livable Communities

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As I have made clear in past blog posts, I attend numerous webinars in order to learn. On March 16, 2021, I attended a

webinar: “Livable Communities for a Lifetime”.

This webinar was hosted by

Great Lakes ADA Center.

My purpose in attending the virtual event was to learn more about the topic. In this article, I will share what I learned.

The presenter stated that livable community has a variety of meanings. It can include accessible transportation, recreation opportunities, accessible curb cuts and a variety of businesses in urban areas. Accessible transportation includes multiple forms (examples: bus, automobile or wheelchair). For some people, livable communities can mean a ramp into someone’s home or wide sidewalks. A livable community should be accessible for people of any ability or age. Other relevant points were also made.

The presenter identified connections between ADA and livable communities. ADA compliance applies to buildings. Example: under Title III, 1 inch of elevation must include 12 inches of ramp extension. Livable communities focus on all abilities and ages, as mentioned earlier. Therefore, livability can focus on universal design for greater access rather than minimal accessibility requirements. Example: the presenter stated need to consider needs of individuals with disabilities not just accessibility requirements. In other words, the environment should be accessible to everyone not just persons with disabilities. The presenter also said disability can have two meanings. It can refer to individual challenges or being disabled by the environment. Resources are also important.

The presenter provided a couple of resources during his presentation. He recommended

AARP’s livable communities resource page.

This resource was recommended due to the amount of relevant information contained on the web site. Near the end of his talk,

the presenter shared his livable communities web site.

The takeaway for me was the presenter’s statement that the term disabled can refer to either an individual or the environment. Bottom line: There is always something new to learn.

Question for readers: How do you define a livable community? I shall return with another article.

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