Access to the Home

Program Description

Recorded: March 1, 2023 – Traditionally when we chose our home and community, we are younger and don’t think about access until some life event forces a reevaluation. The odds are that a disability, even if temporary, will impact all of us at some point in our lives. The older homes in Maine are not adequate to meet the growing need for affordability, accessibility, and social connectivity for Mainers. Accessible features in any home should be viewed as standard residential elements and need to be part of the conversation for a sustainable home.

This session will be an introduction to the design options for key parts of the home to allow people of all abilities to remain safe in their home and welcome more friends and family. Participants will gain a better understanding of possible access solutions to consider in changing or renovating their current home, or in new construction to improve access. Presenters will also provide suggestions on where to look for resources to pay for home accessibility.


Jill S. Johanning, AIA – Jill is a Maine Licensed Architect who specializes in accessible and universal design at Alpha One. As a part of the independent living center at Alpha One, Access Design has been a core service of Alpha One for more than 20 years, providing ADA technical assistance, training, and consulting on designing facilities for universal access. Before joining Alpha One, Jill was employed as a project designer for a large A/E firm in Maine. She has design and construction experience in public and private building projects, with a focus on educational and universal design campus facilities for users of all abilities. Her strong accessibility background developed from working with children and adults with disabilities while studying architecture in college.

Vic Schalk, OTR/L – Vic is an occupational therapist and an independent living specialist at Alpha One. She works with people with disabilities on programs to support them in maintaining their independence in the home and is especially passionate about connecting consumers with assistive technology, accessible housing, and community resources.


Resources discussed in webinar:
Access to the Home PowerPoint – PDF

Access to the Home Handout – MS Word

Rev: 3/6/2023