Sierra side entry walk in bath
Feb 19

Inaccessible Housing ‘Holding Back Those With Disabilities’


More needs to be done to improve the UK’s housing stock and make it more accessible for those with disabilities.

That’s the opinion of Samantha Renke, an actress and disability campaigner who has experienced first-hand the difficulties that disabled people face when trying to have independent lives.

She wrote for the Metro that she spent years feeling as though she was trapped because she had to rely on her family and friends to help her with a range of tasks. Ms Renke has brittle bones and is a full-time wheelchair user.

Ms Renke stated: “For me there was nothing more dehumanising than knowing you are capable of being independent but your environment is disabling you.”

Last year she moved into a bespoke adapted apartment, that allows her to live independently. She explained that, since doing so, not only has she felt better in herself, but her family and particularly her mum, have benefited from not having to be her main carers.

Ms Renke argued that by providing more accessible housing, more disabled people of working age would be able to have jobs. She highlighted the fact that disabled people living in inaccessible housing are four times more likely to be unemployed than those in an adapted property.

Making changes, such as installing easy access showers, can be life changing if you have a disability.

And of course it’s not only in your own home that you can run into obstacles if you have a disability. One US wheelchair user highlighted some of the issues he encountered with public toilets in the UK on a recent visit, such as the lack of a table that is essential to enable him to use his specialist travel urinal.

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