Principal of Ron Wickman Architect
This session will attempt to break the myth that an accessible home entrance is one that is unattractive, expensive and negatively affects the resale of the property. It will introduce a more in-depth look at the no-step (zero step) entrance as a sustainable design feature that allows a family to live in their home for a lifetime no matter their circumstance or ability. Unfortunately, most people believe that a ramp is the only means available to achieve an accessibility to the entrance of a home. How does this ramp affect the curb appeal of the home? Curb appeal matters to home owners for it gives viewers their first impression of the home, and positive curb appeal means good resale value and presents a positive image to the surrounding community. The reason that we are seeing more ramps in home owners front yards is because of our massively growing aging population and their needs for more physical accessibility. The ramps are constructed only because the original home was not designed with aging in place in mind in the first place. Typically these ramps are poorly designed and constructed, which gives passers by this negative perception. the simple solution is to build home with adaptability and accessibility in mind in the first place. In this session participants will be able to view more positive examples of accessible entrances that not only look great but will enhance the property and increase the future resale value.
Ron Wickman is an Architect, Author and Activist who specializes in Accessible Architecture. He set up his own Edmonton based practice in January 1995. His interest and expertise lies in accessible design, that is accommodating the needs of persons with disabilities and our aging population. He specializes in providing consulting services for person with disabilities and for projects focuses on affording individuals greater choices for independent movement. Ron is responsible for over 150 new home or home renovation projects designed to accommodate residents with disabilities. He is also committed to providing affordable, accessible and adaptable housing, and has won several housing competitions and numerous other accessibility awards for his design work. Ron has first hand experience with creating accessible environments because he grew up with a father who used a wheelchair. He is the author of numerous articles and two books: Accessible Architecture: A Visit From Pops and Accessible Architecture: Beyond The Ramp. Ron has experience as an expert witness in cases involving persons with disabilities, and he has also been a guest speaker and participant in numerous sessions involving accessibility, innovative housing, and urban and community planning.