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Accessibility
Accessibility has to do with the extent at which a disabled person is provided ease of entry into and throughout the confines of a building. In new housing construction situations, accessibility refers to basic features built into a home that specifically accommodates someone in a wheelchair. These include unobstructed entryways and wider doorways. Light switches, electrical outlets, fire extinguishers, and controls such as thermostats must also be placed at a comfortable height for trouble-free access. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, (HUD) sponsors an education initiative to help assure a public understanding of the Fair Housing Act of 2003. There are basic requirements defined that must be met to remain compliant with the law. Along with accessible doorways and environmental controls, bathrooms and kitchens are now designed for usage and management by those in wheelchairs. Bathroom walls must also be constructed to allow later installation of grab bars.