This is not a political issue. It is not about the rights or wrongs of America’s involvement in wars and conflicts. It is about helping our sons and daughters who have come back tattered and torn, regain their independence, self sufficiency, and self respect.
It is about providing new accessible homes and modifying existing homes to help those who have lost limbs, or have become paralyzed, or suffered brain injuries, maximize their ability to perform daily living tasks and activities in their own homes...and regain their dignity and self-worth.
Thousand of our severely injured and disabled servicemen and women are returning home without limbs, or paralyzed, or with brain damage, and will be unable to gain entry into their homes or apartments. Inside, they will be unable to freely move about and perform daily living tasks and activities due to existing physical barriers that will prevent free movement. Many will not be able to get up their front stairs to get into their place of residence. Inside, narrow hallways, doorways, stairs, and many room elements will prevent access and movement. The way that homes are traditionally built will not accommodate the accessibility needs of individuals in wheelchairs, or with other physical and developmental impairments. Homes for physically or developmentally challenged individuals have to be built differently, incorporating “adaptable” or accessible features to allow the successful performance of everyday tasks and activities.
Many architects, home-builders, and re-modelers have little or no experience or understanding of how to design and build fully accessible living environments for people with severe disabilities. In addition to many thousands of severely disabled servicemen and women, there are over 54 million Americans of all ages with some form of permanent disability and many millions more who incur an unexpected accidental injury resulting in a temporary disability that can last for weeks, months, or years.
National education and training programs are desperately needed to teach and guide the professionals who design and build new homes, those who remodel or renovate homes, occupational and physical therapists, and especially the people with the disabilities how to build living environments that are fully accessible and will accommodate the needs of many millions of disabled Americans of all ages.
Building new homes today using traditional “on-site” construction is quite costly, takes considerable time, and unfortunately is often accompanied by the use of inferior materials, many unforeseen delays, job site pilferage, expensive cost overruns, and numerous costly change orders. Fully accessible high quality, energy efficient manufactured and modular homes can be built in a fraction of the time required to design and build traditional “site- built” homes, often for considerably less money, and all but eliminating job site pilferage and cost overruns. Best of all, incorporating most of the needed accessible features when building new homes should add very little to the overall cost of the home.
We are teaching and showing architects, designers, home-builders, occupational and physical therapists, and people with severe disabilities, how to correctly design and build new living environments incorporating the needed accessible or adaptable features that will help maximize the performance of daily living tasks and activities in the home for individuals with disabilities.
Since 2002, we have been working with a number of manufactured and modular home- building companies, corporations, and organizations throughout the country guiding them in the successful design and building of fully accessible universal design featured “Livable Homes”.
Numerous members of MBSA, National Modular Building Systems Association and MHI, National Manufactured Housing Institute home-builders, have agreed to participate in this new Disabled Veterans Livable Home Ownership Initiative. These participating national home-building corporations have agreed to work with Shared Solutions America and to design and build fully accessible, very reasonably priced, beautiful, comfortable, functional, and energy-efficient universal design featured “Livable Homes” throughout the United States to meet the special housing needs of our severely injured and disabled servicemen and women, along with millions of other individuals with disabilities.
Shared Solutions America is a non-profit organization with over four decades of successful experience in the design and construction of new and remodeled living and working environments. Our goal is to become a Resource Center to help our deserving severely injured and disabled service men and women obtain fully accessible new homes by connecting them with numerous “initiative qualified” national home builders and community developers who have made the commitment to provide the very reasonably priced, fully accessible homes to meet the needs of our deserving disabled veterans.
We will endeavor, by general administration, to protect our disabled servicemen and women from deficiencies in the design and construction work, and help prevent omissions, error billings, and overcharges, to help assure that the homes are built correctly with established set discounted prices, within strict per-established parameters, on time, and with no extra charges. We want to insure that our disabled servicemen and women obtain the very best homes at the lowest possible prices from home builders, community developers and product suppliers.
We shall also endeavor to obtain corporate and private sector donations of needed services, materials, products, and labor to further reduce the final purchase cost of the new homes. All benefits will be passed on to the home buyer!
This Program is part of Shared Solutions America’s mission to teach people of all ages with disabilities, regardless of income level, how to build new, or modify their existing living environments to help improve their quality of daily living, better perform everyday living tasks and activities, and maintain a high degree of individual independence, dignity, and safety. Simple changes or modifications can make the home more user-friendly and also prevent one-third of all home accidents. These changes will provide a more comfortable, functional, and safe living environment for all family members, and increase our ability to remain independent throughout the years....from childhood, through parenthood, and on through retirement.